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Legislation

A range of legislation is relevant to employment relationships.

  • Provides the legal backdrop for all relationships between employees, employers and unions.
  • Promotes the concepts of good faith and fair process.
  • Promotes mediation as the first step when resolving employment relationship problems.
  • Governs the personal grievance process.
  • Established the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court, which help to resolve employment relationship problems.
  • Promotes and regulates collective bargaining, and protects an employee’s choice about whether to be a member of a union. 
  • Promotes the effective enforcement of employment standards.

Employment Relations Act 2000(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Provides minimum rights to annual leave, sick leave and bereavement leave.
  • Deals with payment for, and days in lieu of, public holidays.

Holidays Act 2003(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Provides that deductions from wages can only be made in limited circumstances.
  • Prohibits employment premiums (where an employee pays an employer in exchange for employment).
  • Prevents employers from controlling the manner in which employees spend wages.

Wages Protection Act 1983(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Provides for a minimum wage, which is reviewed annually by the government.
  • Basis for the 40-hour working week.

Minimum Wage Act 1983(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Provides for rights to paid and unpaid parental leave.
  • Provides job protection for those on parental leave.

Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Prohibits discrimination in the pay rate of employees, based on the sex of the employee.
  • Gives the Employment Court the power to state principles for putting equal pay into place.

Equal Pay Act 1972(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of various grounds, such as sex, race or age. 
  • The Human Rights Commission(external link) can help to resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination.
  • The Human Rights Review Tribunal can hear claims relating to breaches of the Human Rights Act 1993 brought by employees against their employer.

Human Rights Act 1993(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Governs an employer’s ability to collect, store and use an employee’s personal information, and an employee’s ability to have access to, and request correction of, their personal information.
  • The Privacy Commissioner(external link) has the ability to investigate complaints relating to breaches of the Privacy Act 1993.
  • The Human Rights Review Tribunal can also deal with claims relating to breaches of the Privacy Act 1993.

Privacy Act 1993(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

  • Protects employees who disclose information about serious wrongdoing committed by their employer in certain circumstances.
  • For more information see the Ombudsman website(external link).

Protected Disclosures Act 2000(external link) is on the New Zealand legislation website.

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