7.05.2019

Employment Law Changes – Today is the Day!

Today is the 6th of May - are you ready?!  

If you are asking; “Ready for what?”, don’t panic; we’ve got you covered. Today is when many of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (Act) amendments come into force.  This is a summary of what you need to know.

Two of the most significant amendments to the Act that come into force today are:

  • 90 day trial periods can now only be used for a new employee where the employer employs fewer than 20 employees at the beginning of the day on which the employment agreement is entered into. If you employ 20 or more employees we suggest replacing the trial period in your employment agreements with a probationary period from today.
  • From today, employees are entitled to legislatively prescribed rest and meal breaks. The Act now sets the duration of an employee’s breaks and, if agreement cannot be or is not reached between the parties, the Act also states that times at which the breaks are to be taken (with limited exceptions for workers in essential services or national security).  The default provisions require the breaks to be around the middle of the relevant work period, if that is reasonable and practicable.

If you have a collective agreement in force you should also be aware of these amendments that come into force today:

  • If a new employee’s work is covered by the collective agreement, for the first 30 days of employment the employee’s terms and conditions will comprise the terms and conditions in the collective agreement. Any additional terms and conditions mutually agreed to by the employee and employer must be no less favourable to the employee than the terms and conditions in the collective agreement.  During the first 10 days of the employee’s employment, the employer also needs to give the new employee a legislatively prescribed form, which advises them about their right to join the union.
  • A union party to a collective agreement may now request an employer party to pass on union information to prospective employees.
  • Employers must now provide reasonable paid time for union delegates undertaking union activities during the employees’ normal hours of work, with limited exceptions.
  • Collective agreements are now required to include the rates of wages or salary, minimum rates of wages or salary or one or more methods of calculating the rates or minimum rates of wages or salary payable for certain work or types of work or to certain employees or types of employees. The collective agreement must also indicate how the rate of wages or salary payable may increase during the term of the collective agreement.

To find out more about all the recent changes in employment law, you can read our previous article here.  If you are not up to date with any of these changes, never fear! We are here to talk through what they mean for you and help you get your documentation and processes compliant.

Do you need expert legal advice?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Kerry_100x100 1
Media contact - Kerry Browne
Please contact Kerry with any media enquiries and with any questions related to marketing or sponsorships on +64 9 375 8747 or via email.

Related Articles / Insights & Opinion

Compliance Risks in the Construction Industry
Between 2016 and 2022, demand for construction-related occupations is projected to increase by approximately 56,000 employees. Temporary workers provided by third party labour hire agencies have long ...
15.08.2019 Posted in Construction Law & Employment Law
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Leasing and Health and Safety
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail:  Leasing and Health and Safety When the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into force over 3 years ago as part of the Government’s strategy to reduce serious...
Getting the Deal Through: Construction 2020
Hesketh Henry Construction Partners pen the 2020 Chapter of "Getting the Deal Through Construction".
07.08.2019 Posted in Construction Law
The Shipping Law Review 2019 – Edition 6
Hesketh Henry's marine team pen the New Zealand Chapter of The Shipping Law Review 2019.
31.07.2019
Xu v IAG New Zealand Ltd [2019] NZSC 68
The Right to Replacement: It’s Personal
22.07.2019 Posted in Insurance Law
Hesketh Henry’s Private Wealth Team are leading the way
"Dynamite Lawyers" as quoted in the new Chambers HNW directory for 2019
16.07.2019 Posted in Trust Wills Estates
Send us an enquiry
For expert legal advice, please complete the form below or call us on (09) 375 8700.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.