The ASU was recently advised that the company intended to stop people giving away shifts that they did not want or could not work, this was going to commence in approximately 3 weeks’ time. We were also advised that the company was considering limiting the number of shift swaps that people could do as well at a date to be advised.
Once the ASU was made aware of these changes we made representations to the company to find out the reason for this decision.
What we were told.
We were advised that due to the new rostering system that is being introduced there is a considerable amount of manual intervention needed to modify the rosters that are initially produced electronically. With the additional intervention as well as having to manually input shift giveaways and shift swaps the company was of the view that this was going to create excessive workloads for the rostering departments and potentially create inaccurate rosters. They believe that the number of shifts being given away is excessive.
We explained that by completely stopping this practice it will create other issues for the business that would likely have cost implications. We explained that individuals rightly or wrongly would access sick leave if they couldn’t give away or swap a shift which in turn would also require them to be backfilled at additional expense.
After making representations to the company they have agreed that individuals can continue to give away shifts, however, you cannot give away shifts if that would take you below the minimum rostered hours of 20 per week. They intend to monitor this and review at a later date.
Shift swaps to continue, different process.
They have also agreed that shift swaps will remain unlimited at this stage however shift swaps will now have to be submitted with a minimum of 7 days’ notice and they will also need to occur within the same week. You can swap your shifts with someone in 3 weeks’ time but the shift you swap with them needs to fall in the same rostered week.
To assist with this you will now receive your rosters 28 days in advance instead of 21 which will allow you additional time to find a suitable swap. The company will also continue to monitor the impact of swaps on rostering.
Online shift swaps
With the introduction of the new rostering system there will be a tool introduced later in the year that will allow individuals to submit and accept shift swaps online. This furthers the argument for keeping shift swaps unlimited given that the process will be completely electronic and initiated and completed between the individuals doing the swap.
Flexible work arrangements
Under the Fair Work Act, individuals in certain circumstances can request modified hours (which may include going under the minimum 20 hours per week. To find out if your circumstances should be considered by the company go to;