In light of a recent landmark ruling by the Federal Court which prohibits employers from automatically rostering their staff on public holidays, Deputy’s Shift Confirmation feature has gained renewed importance. 

On 28 March 2023, ahead of the Easter long weekend, the Federal Court declared that employers must request their employees to work on public holidays and can no longer automatically roster them. This new ruling overrides anything written in existing contracts and will apply to all workplaces across verticals including hospitality, retail, health and emergency services.

With upcoming public holidays in Australia including the Monarch’s Official Birthday on 12 June, this ruling and its implications may have consequences for industries and workplaces if businesses do not get ahead of it. 

“Many businesses formerly assumed that employees accept working on public holidays when they join operations that work 24/7, and labour shortages have exacerbated the issue. Shift workers tend not to refute being scheduled to work on a public holiday as they feel spending quality time with loved ones is not a valid enough reason to refuse a shift,” Deputy chief product officer, Deepesh Banerji said.

“The technology exists today to assist both business owners and shift workers with the court’s ruling and also establish a level of trust and transparency between the two.”

With Deputy’s Shift Confirmation feature, business leaders simply turn on the option of requiring confirmation when they publish a shift on a public holiday. Following this, the team member assigned to the shift will be sent an email and SMS and must either accept or decline the shift within a defined time period.

If a team member does not confirm the shift by the defined time period, the shift will automatically become open for other team members. If the shift is confirmed, the employee will remain assigned to it and if a shift is declined, business leaders will be notified.

“By making use of technology like Deputy’s Shift Confirmation feature, businesses will be able to stay ahead of this ruling and get employees’ consent before rostering them on public holidays,” Banerji added.

“The court’s ruling is a welcome change that will positively impact shift workers across a range of industries by delivering more flexibility, and fairness resulting in more engaged teams. We look forward to seeing more shift workers get the option to spend time with their loved ones — something the white-collar workforce has long been able to do.”