Temporary collective bargaining changes will be removed

The government has decided that the temporary modifications to collective bargaining rules that were made in response to COVID-19 will be removed.

Temporary modifications were made to the Employment Relations Act in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which effectively paused some of the timeframes involved in collective bargaining that would otherwise apply, and allowed unions to notify an alternative ratification process if the previous ratification process was now impracticable (e.g. in person meetings).

The modifications in the Epidemic Preparedness (Employment Relations Act 2000 – Collective Bargaining) Immediate Modification Order 2020 will be revoked on 6 May 2022.

The existing timeframes and processes for collective bargaining in the Employment Relations Act will be reinstated.

For bargaining parties that had timeframes paused by the modifications, those timeframes will restart from 6 May 2022.

Unions that had notified an alternative ratification process but have not yet ratified bargaining, can choose whether to continue with the alternative process or notify the employer of a return to the original ratification process.

Read more about the changes that were made in April 2020:

Changes to the Employment Relations Act while the Epidemic Notice is in place