Collective agreements

Collective employment agreements are agreements between employers and registered unions that cover employees in the employer’s workplace.

Submitting collective agreements to MBIE

Use the Workplace Online Portal to submit collective agreements, variations and other related documents to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The portal is a secure way for you to submit collective agreements, variations and other related documents directly to MBIE for storage in the central repository.

Submitting a collective agreement

The bargaining power between employers and employees is not equal in many employment relationships. Employees may decide that their interests are represented more effectively through unions and collective bargaining. If a union represents employees in a workplace a collective agreement can be negotiated.

A collective employment agreement is approved and signed after collective bargaining. The agreement sets the terms and conditions of employment of union members who are covered by the agreement.

Collective employment agreements:

  • cover at least two employees and are between at least one employer and at least one registered union
  • can cover permanent, full-time, part-time, fixed-term and casual employees and may cover all or some of the employees in a workplace
  • have a coverage clause saying exactly what type of employees and types of jobs are covered
  • can be joined by extra unions and employers if the collective agreement specifically lets this happen.

Non-union members may bargain collectively with an employer or employers, but their negotiations can’t end in a collective employment agreement, only identical or very similar individual employment agreements.

Registered Unions

Passing on collective agreement terms

Passing on collective agreement terms to individual employment agreements.

Page last revised: 13 June 2023

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