The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 comes into full effect today (Monday 6 May 2019), with the exception of changes relating to discrimination in relation to union membership and involvement in union activities (effective from 12 June 2019).
The Act, which was passed into law on 5 December 2018, introduces a number of employment law changes that aim to improve fairness in the workplace and deliver decent work conditions and fair wages. It gives more protections for employees, especially vulnerable workers, and strengthens collective bargaining and union rights in the workplace. Many of the changes are familiar to employers, as they roll the law back to how it was as recently as 2015.
The key changes include:
- reinstating set rest and meal breaks
- limiting 90-day trial periods to businesses with 19 or fewer employees
- restoring protections for vulnerable workers, such as those in the cleaning and catering industries, regardless of the size of their employer
- strengthening collective bargaining and union rights.
Useful documents and forms:
- Guidance for employers
- Information factsheet covering the changes
- FAQs – rest and meal break entitlements
- Form for employees to indicate if they intend to join a union
For more information, contact Employment New Zealand:
- Visit govt.nz/employmentrelations
- Phone 0800 20 90 20 toll free.