ASU Organiser for TIO Andy Lewis has met with employees to discuss the transition of Investigators to the Dispute Resolution Officer Title. During the meeting Andy suggested the following to members,
- Taking management at face value it is unlikely, and would not be cost effective, that employees spend the majority of time or substantial proportion of time on phones or on the additional duties noted in the Dispute Resolution Officer (“DRO”) position description.
- That further, if the above is the case, the matter could alternatively be characterised as a lawful instruction to undertake reasonable additional duties. In so saying, the affected employees’ position title may be changed but, in the relevant sense, their role would remain substantially the same.
- It is on the basis that the role is substantially the same that an entitlement to redundancy would not crystallise.
- Given the above, employees need not sign and should not sign a new position description. Employees may simply turn up on Monday 30th and continue in their employment, albeit under a different title. Employees cannot be terminated for refusing to sign the document.
- If however the above is not true and, following the “transition”, employees find they are spending a large proportion of their time on the on the new additional duties, they may well raise a dispute about a breach of employment terms. In this circumstance you might be better protected if you do not sign anything!
- Finally, if employees wish to resign their employment and take TIO up on the offer of an Ex Gratia payment of $10,000, not including payment in-lieu of notice, they must give notice by Tuesday 28th of June 2016.
During the meeting employees also expressed concern about workload and KPI’s. To this end the ASU advised them that FTE markers would be reduced in proportion to time spent on phones. In so much, KPI targets would be reduced in proportion to time spent on phones or on the additional duties. The ASU has asked that TIO confirm this to employees by advice no later than COB 27 June 2016.
The ASU also advises that where an employer seeks to have employees sign a variation to their conditions, the terms under which they sign are certainly up for negotiation. If TIO seeks from employees a commitment to undertake significant additional duties, the ASU would encourage members to ask for some incentive.