Donning and doffing work gear should be work time

The New Zealand Meat Workers Union has scored a huge win for its meat workers with a new court ruling on the time it takes to put on (“don”) and take off (“doff”) your work gear.

The Employment Court in New Zealand ruled that the time meat workers spend putting on and removing their specialised clothing and equipment at the beginning and end of each shift is actually paid work time.

Previously, this time was unpaid. Now the NZ MWU will be looking at a back payment case against this particular employer for up to six years of unpaid wages.

The AMIEU in Australia also believes that this time is work time and should be paid!

The hard work of the NZ MWU shows that a better way is possible. Now we need every Australian meat worker to join the AMIEU so that we can push for our outdated rules to be overhauled as well.

It’s not fair that bosses can force you to wear special clothes and gear, but won’t pay you for the time it takes to get into and out of them. We believe that companies are saving as much as $1,000 per worker each year for some classifications of workers, by not paying them for this time.

That time is work time and you should be paid for it. That’s what we believe. If you agree, join us and help make it happen.