sign up Your signup was successful Subscribing..


< back

Changes to employment laws widening the scope for personal grievances

By Claire Mansell - 4 Sep 2019

The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill has passed its third reading in parliament and will come into force by at least 27 June 2020. The Bill allows for a "controlling third party" to be joined to a personal grievance claim in the Employment Relations Authority. This means that an individual employee can bring a claim against both their 'official' employer and any other controlling third party.

A controlling third party is a person or entity who -

  1. has a contract or other arrangement with an employer under which an employee performs work for the benefit of that person/entity and;
  2. exerts control or is entitled to exert control or direction over an employee that is similar or substantially similar to the control or direction that an employer exerts over an employee.

A controlling third party can be joined to a personal grievance claim by either an employee or employer, but they must be given notice within 90 days of either the personal grievance arising (if joined by an employee) or, within 90 days of the employee raising the personal grievance with the employer (if joined by an employer).

The Bill provides additional powers to look past the terms of the employment agreements and hold the party who has the real control over the employee accountable. It also recognises the increasing complexity of employment relationships, in which the notion of 'one employee, one employer' may no longer apply.

Although the Bill was intended to address situations such as labour hire agreements, it is likely to apply to a number of other situations such as secondments or where an employee is employed by a separate subsidiary company but effectively under the control of the parent company. This may be particularly relevant where a parent company is seeking to ring fence liability by employing an employee under a separate entity.

Please contact Claire Mansell if you have any concerns about your liability under the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill.


Forward to a friend

Leave a comment