Flexibility is key

By: Amie Hickland

Changes in legislation allows greater work flexibility for operators and drivers

Flexibility is key
APTIA's National Industrial Relations Manager Ian Macdonald

Operators throughout Australia will now have to consult with employees over roster changes and provide greater flexibility for personal circumstance if they aren’t already doing so.

The Fair Work Commission has been working on a number of changes to the Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award 2010 which impacts any new Enterprise Agreement entered into after January 1.

Similarly changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 have added industrial relations obligations upon employers which may be prescribed in an enterprise agreement.

Australian Public Transport Industrial Association National Industrial Relations Manager Ian Macdonald says the changes will only affect some operators as most already engage best practice measures.

He says the two major changes to the act include the provision in which operators must consult with drivers about changes to regular hours and new flexibility arrangements for personal circumstances.

"It doesn’t bring about a lot of change that occurs in our industry – rosters and hours of work do change," he says.

"Operators that haven’t done it in the past now have to do it."

The PVTA contains a new model consultation clause which requires an employer to consult about changes to an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work.

This requirement applies to enterprise agreements entered into in 2014.

The award also contains a new award flexibility clause which allows an employer and an existing employee to make a flexible work arrangement for up to 13 weeks for personal circumstances.

"It does give greater flexibility," says MacDonald.

"I think it’s a good thing."                        

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