There is an important development in employment law occurred on 13 June 2023. It extends the time frame to allow a claim of sexual harassment in the workplace from the standard 90 days to 12 months.
Effective from 1 July 2021 Security Guards will be deemed to be ‘vulnerable workers’ under the Employment Relations Act. As such they will have the automatic right to transfer their employment including their existing terms and conditions and leave entitlements, when the security contracts they are working on for one employer are taken over by a new employer.
‘Vulnerable workers’ are considered to be at greater risk of losing their job due to a lack of bargaining power and working in sectors that are often sold, transferred or contracted out and legislation is in place to protect them. This is the same legislation that has protected cleaners and food catering services since 2004.
If you engage security at your workplace this may affect you. If you are unhappy with the services being provided by your existing security company and decide to change to a different security company, the people working at your site may continue to be the same people. They will simply have a different employer. Before changing contractors, you will need to consider whether this will now solve the problems you were having.
In amongst this don’t forget the Triangular Employment Relationship legislation whereby a third party’s employee (in this case the Security Guard) can include your organisation in a personal grievance claim and make a claim against you as well as their employer.
The key message is if you have an issue with the services being provided by a contractor’s employee you have to apply good faith and be fair and reasonable. Gone are the days when you can simply say to the contractor that they must simply remove that individual from your site immediately.