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More employment protections for security officers

Security officers will soon receive additional protections in their job in restructuring situations.

The Employment Relations Order 2021 (Extending Part 6A Protections to Security Officers) was recently made. It gives security officers extra employment protections, the same ones currently held by cleaning, catering, and some laundry and caretaking workers. It offers the following protections to security officers, if the business is sold, transferred or contracted out to another employer, or if the business lost the security contract or the client decides to move the security function in house:

  • Continuity of employment: security officers can choose to transfer their employment to the new employer. But please note that the new employer will be able to go through a new restructuring process, and could make employees redundant.
  • The same employment conditions: security offices can keep their existing employment terms and conditions, and any types of leave that they may have left, as if there was no change of employer.
  • Security offers can also decide not to transfer to the new employer, but this could mean that they will be made redundant by the original employer.

The new Order includes those that:

  • guard real or personal property
  • monitor premises on site (e.g. via CCTV)
  • control crowds at events
  • escort prisoners or perform courtroom custodial duty
  • undertake mobile patrols, or
  • collect cash from premises (e.g. banks, retail stores).

The changes will not apply to those that work as private investigators, security technicians, security consultants, confidential document destruction workers, repossession workers, personal guards, court security officers, police officers, or corrections officers.

These new protections will come into effect on 1 July 2021. This allows time for the security industry to understand and comply with the new requirements, including during transition times. In general, the new Order does not apply to restructuring situations where agreements were reached between companies before 1 July 2021.

For more information on the Order and Part 6A, visit the webpages below.

Employment Relations (Extending Part 6A Protections to Security Officers) Order 2021 – New Zealand Legislation (external link)

Restructuring when a business is sold or transferred