Records of settlement

If you come to an agreement about an employment issue, you can formalise it in a ‘record of settlement’. Once reviewed and signed by our mediators, this document is legally binding.

What is a record of settlement?

A ‘record of settlement’ formally sets out an agreement between parties and means the conditions of the agreement can be enforced. Once signed by the parties and the mediator from Employment Mediation Services, it becomes a full and final settlement, and cannot be reopened by either party.

A record of settlement can be created in 2 ways.

  1. Following a meeting, a mediator writes down the agreed terms and has both parties sign the document.
  2. The parties reach agreement themselves and send the document to Employment Mediation Services to have it signed by a mediator.

Employment Mediation Services mediators will check that any record of settlement is enforceable and complies with the law. They will contact the parties involved to:

  • explain the effects of the mediator signing the agreement, which are that:
    • the settlement will be final, binding and enforceable
    • the terms cannot be brought before the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court for any reason except to enforce the terms
    • the settlement cannot be cancelled
    • there can be penalties if either party breaches the settlement
  • confirm that they want the mediator to sign the agreement, and understand what that means
  • check that in making the agreement the parties did not agree to give up any minimum entitlements.

Employee rights and responsibilities

In most cases the mediator will speak to the parties, but where this is not practical, they may email. The mediator does not provide either party with legal advice. If you are unsure about the content or effect of your record of settlement, you may wish to seek legal advice before signing it.

If you are sending us a record of settlement

If you are sending us a record of settlement to sign, it must show:

  • that the parties understand what the agreement means, and that they want the mediator to sign it off
  • that in reaching the agreement the parties have not agreed to give up any minimum entitlements, like holiday pay or minimum wage
  • the correct legal names of the parties (those on birth certificates or the companies register/legal documents, rather than trading names or nicknames)
  • signatures of both parties.

This template will help you to include the right information in your record of settlement.

Records of settlement template [DOCX, 38 KB]

If you need help submitting online

Our employment records of settlement online user guide can help you with setting up your account, submitting your record of settlement, and managing other members in your organisation.

How to submit employment records of settlement online – quick user guide [PDF, 900 KB]

Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 20 90 20 or post a paper copy of the record of settlement to:

Mediation Services Auckland
PO Box 92061
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1010

Enforcing a record of settlement

If one party does not do what is required of them under the record of settlement — for example, make a payment — the other party can apply to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) or the Employment Court for enforcement of the agreement.

Before applying to the ERA, it’s a good idea to contact the mediator to see if they can help encourage parties to comply with the agreement.

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