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Communtity Law Manual | Employment: Conditions & protections | Shift work: When your shifts can be cancelled

Hours, shifts and breaks

Shift work: When your shifts can be cancelled

When is my boss allowed to cancel one of my shifts?

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 67G

If you’re doing shift work, there are new laws about when and how your boss can cancel one of your shifts. “Shift work” means where the employer has different staff coming in to keep the work going continuously during the business’s hours – a café for example. With shift work an employee might work the same hours on different days of the week, or they might work different hours on different days.

The issue of cancelling shifts must be covered in your employment agreement, by a clause that states a reasonable notice period that your boss has to give you, and that specifies reasonable compensation that your boss has to pay you if they don’t give the right notice.

If you’re scheduled to work for a particular shift, the boss can’t cancel it unless they give you the notice in your agreement, or pay you the compensation stated in your agreement. If your shift is cancelled partway through, you’re entitled to full pay for the whole shift.

If your employment agreement doesn’t have a clause dealing with notice and compensation, but your boss cancels a shift anyway, then your boss has to pay you what you would have got for working the shift.

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