• A

    An alternative holiday is a day where someone can take a paid day off from work to make up for working on a public holiday, when that public holiday fell on a day they would usually work.

    Every employee is entitled to at least four weeks paid annual holidays (annual leave) each year when they have worked for their employer for 12 months. In some situations, an employee can be paid 8% of their gross earnings with their regular pay instead of getting paid time off (also see Pay-as-you-go)

    Average daily pay is a way of determining what an employee should be paid on a day that they would have otherwise worked but didn’t. It is used to calculate payment for public holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave, family violence leave and bereavement leave.

    This is 1/52 of an employee’s gross earnings for the 12 months up to the end of the last pay period before they take an annual holiday. In some situations, average weekly earnings may be calculated over less than 52 weeks.

  • B

    Bereavement leave gives an employee time to grieve and to take care of matters to do with the bereavement. This can be taken at any time and for any purpose relating to the bereavement. It does not have to be taken straight away or on consecutive days.

  • C

    ‘Casual’ is not defined in employment law but is usually used to refer to a situation where an employee has no guaranteed hours of work, no regular pattern of work, and no ongoing expectation of employment. The employer doesn’t have to offer work to the employee, and the employee doesn’t have to accept work if the employer offers it.

    A collective agreement is an employment agreement that is between one or more unions and one or more employers and two or more employees. Also see ‘Employment Agreement’.

  • D

    The date of confinement is when a pregnant woman goes into labour. Parental leave can start any date up to 6 weeks before the expected due date of the baby, or earlier if you and your employer agree to an earlier date or if you have health concerns.

    An employer can only make deductions from an employee’s pay if these deductions are required by law (eg PAYE tax), or are reasonable and agreed to in writing by the employee.

    The decision of a member of the Employment Relations Authority about a case.

  • E

    Employment advocates are not required to be lawyers or have legal training but have a similar role to lawyers in terms of assisting and representing parties for example, in mediation or the Employment Relations Authority. They are not bound by the same rules of conduct as lawyers are.

    Employment agreements contain the terms and conditions of employment. Every employee must have a written employment agreement outlining the terms and conditions of employment. ‘Employment agreement’ has a broader meaning that includes all other documents and other agreements forming part of the contractual agreement between the employee and employer.

    The employment relationship is the legal link between employers and employees. It exists when a person performs work or services under certain conditions in return for remuneration.

    This includes any problem relating to or arising out of an employment relationship, including disputes and personal grievances.

    In New Zealand all employees have minimum employment rights. These rights can’t be contracted out of, and they apply even if the employee agrees otherwise. These rights also apply whether or not they have been included in an employment agreement.

    Employment standards set the minimum requirements that apply by law for how employers must treat, pay, and protect their employees. They can include employment records, minimum wage, wages protections, holidays and leave, breastfeeding provisions, and breaks. Employers are legally responsible for meeting employment standards.

    Usually refers to your minimum rights by law and anything extra that you get as part of your employment agreement. Your minimum rights by law are things like minimum wage, and holidays and leave rights.

    The Employment Relations Authority (or ‘ERA’) is a Tribunal established under the Employment Relations Act. The ERA investigates and decides employment relationship problems. Its role is to establish the facts and make a decision based on the merits of the case, not on technicalities.

  • F

    Employees affected by family violence have the right to take up to 10 days of paid family violence leave (employers can give more than the 10 days required by law). This is separate from annual holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave.

    This refers to employment with a set start and end date or event. Employees can only be employed for a fixed-term if there is a genuine reason for the fixed-term (for example, covering for parental leave or seasonal work like fruit picking). The reason, and the date or event that will end the employment must be in the employment agreement.

    Franchisees own and run their locations and are responsible for their day-to-day management. They provide the capital to set up their business, but need to set it up the way that the franchisor determines. They usually pay the franchisor an initial fee to become a franchisee, as well as ongoing franchise fees.

    A franchisor is an organisation that grants (by licence or franchise) the right to use the Franchisor’s business system, including the right to open stores and sell products or services using its brand, expertise, and/or intellectual property, strictly in accordance with the franchisor’s system, operating manuals and policies.

  • G

    Good faith means dealing with each other honestly, openly, and without misleading each other. It requires parties to raise issues in a fair and timely manner, treat the other party with respect, and give the other party information which may be referred to in any future discussions.

  • H

    Human rights are broader than employment standards, employment rights, and labour rights. For example, the right to health and safety, right to life, right to the freedom from torture, and right to the freedom of expression.

  • I

    This is an agreement between an employer and an employee. There are matters which an individual employment agreement must cover and it must be in writing. Also see ‘Employment Agreement’.

    Intellectual property rights protect the expression of someone’s idea in something they have made or created (for example, copyright).

  • L

    Labour hire and temping are terms applied to provision of outsourced workers hired for short or long-term positions. It is also known by other names such as supplementary staffing, labour supply.

    Labour Inspectors are warranted officers who have powers under the Employment Relations Act and make sure that workplaces meet at least the employment standards and requirements of employment law.

    Labour rights are broader than employment standards and employment rights, covering how all workers (employees, contractors and workers in an organisation’s supply chains) are treated.

  • M

    Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where an independent mediator helps people work through their issues and develop solutions together.

    Minimum entitlements set out basic entitlements that all employees in New Zealand receive. They can include minimum wage, wages protection, holidays and leave.

    This is the lowest amount an employee can be paid per hour. There are some exceptions and exemptions to this. There is no minimum wage for employees younger than 16.

  • O

    This is used to help determine how much to pay an employee for annual holidays. Ordinary weekly pay includes everything an employee is normally paid weekly. Irregular or one-off payments as well as discretionary payments and employer contributions to superannuation schemes are not included in ordinary weekly pay.

    An otherwise working day is a day that an employee would have worked had the day not been a public holiday, sick leave, bereavement leave, family violence leave or alternative holiday for that employee.

  • P

    In limited circumstances some employees may be paid holiday pay at the rate of not less than 8% of their gross earnings with their regular pay instead of being provided with 4 weeks’ annual holidays each year.

    An identifiable additional amount that is payable to an employee under the employee’s employment agreement for working on a particular day or type of day.

    If you are taking parental leave and your employer decides that your job is a key position, or there is a redundancy situation, and your job won’t be kept open for you; you go into a 26-week 'period of preference' at the end of your leave. This means that at any time during this 26-week period, if your employer has a job that is very similar to your job, your employer must offer it to you first before offering it to anyone else.

    Probation periods are different to trial periods. Employers need to follow the usual dismissal procedure to dismiss during a probation period and an employee who is dismissed during a probation period can bring a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.

    Employees are entitled to 12 paid public holidays every year if they fall on days that the employee would otherwise be working. If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and this is not an otherwise working day for the employee, the public holiday is moved to the following Monday (or Tuesday if 25 or 26 December or 1 or 2 January fall on a Sunday) for that employee.

  • R

    A recruiter is someone who is commonly called a recruitment consultant. They may also be referred to as an employment or work broker. They work with candidates (people looking for work) and clients (businesses looking for staff). Often they work for a private recruitment agency and receive a fee from the business for finding and placing candidates into roles.

    Relevant daily pay means the pay an employee would have been paid if they had been working on the day concerned. It is used to calculate payment for public holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave, family violence leave and bereavement leave.

    Restraint of trade clauses may prevent employees from working in similar businesses in a way that may affect their former employer’s business. Restraints of trade need to meet certain legal criteria, otherwise, they will be unenforceable.

  • S

    A seasonal job usually describes a situation where an employer employs workers on a fixed-term agreement to complete a job that comes up for a limited time every 'season' (for example, to pick apples). After the work is completed, the employment agreement ends. Also see ‘Fixed-term’.

    Sick leave is paid time off work if the employee, their spouse, partner, dependent child or other person who depends on them is sick or injured. A minimum of 10 days sick leave is available each year.

    Starting-out workers are certain employees that may be paid a different wage rate depending on their age and length of employment.

  • T

    See ‘Labour hire’.

    If employees work on a public holiday (unless they work only on public holidays), they are entitled to be paid at least ’time-and-a-half’. This means that their standard hourly rate is multiplied by 1.5.

    An employer may employ a new employee on a trial period of up to 90 calendar days. If the employer dismisses the employee during the trial period, the employee cannot take a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal. Trial periods must be agreed between the employer and employee in a written employment agreement before the employee starts work.

    Triangular employment is an employment arrangement where an employer has an employee work for a third party (the controlling party), who decides what the employee should do during their day-to-day work.

  • U

    A union is an organisation that supports employees in the workplace by acting as an advocate for them collectively (and with the consent of the employee, individually). Unions bargain for collective employment agreements with employers and help employees with information and advice about work-related issues.