Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 8 May 2008) . . Page.. 1834 ..
(3) In the course of contract negotiations with staff at Rhodium, were any of the staff told anything about their legal standing if Rhodium is sold to another buyer; if so, what were they told and was this correct.
Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) I am informed that Rhodium has disclosed staff information, as part of the due diligence process, to its preferred buyer in accordance with applicable law. The identity of Rhodium’s preferred buyer is commercial-in-confidence and has not been publicly released.
I am further advised that throughout the due diligence process, Rhodium was aware of its obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) and conducted itself in accordance with the national privacy principles as evidenced by the controls put in place to maintain confidentiality over the disclosure of information. I understand that Rhodium disclosed the employee information only after the execution of a confidentiality deed and within a secure electronic data control room. I have been assured that at all times this disclosure was made with the intention of securing the best possible terms and conditions of sale which included ensuring the potential continuity of employment of Rhodium employees.
I have been advised that staff information has not been disclosed to any other party.
(2) I have been advised that Rhodium’s general policy for staff arriving late for work is consistent with established public service management practices. Actual hours worked are recorded on individual timesheets and, in the event that staff members do not make up for lost time, they are required to submit leave applications.
In addition to the general policy on lateness, staff in one work section in Rhodium self-initiated an informal voluntary “coin donation” scheme. No latecomer was forced to make a coin donation.
(3) I am advised that Rhodium’s Chief Executive Officer has conducted regular staff briefings on the sale. These briefings included advice on the legal standing of staff members.
Specific issues raised by staff on the sale have been addressed through Rhodium’s Joint Consultative Committee established under Rhodium’s Collective Agreement.
I am informed that staff have been advised the following, based on Rhodium’s legal advice:
a. As the company is being sold by the Territory, Rhodium’s Collective Agreement and Individual Employment Agreements survive the sale to the expiry date of the Agreements if less than 12 months. As such, staff entitlements and conditions of service under these Agreements carry over to the buyer on sale date.
b. Rhodium’s Collective Agreement expires in October 2008 and will remain in force until then unless expressly varied by the buyer. Negotiation of a new Collective Agreement would be the buyer’s responsibility.