Employees can choose whether or not to join a union. Unions negotiate collective employment agreements and advocate on behalf of employees.

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. You have to pay a fee to be a union member.

There are unions for different kinds of workplaces and jobs so if you’re thinking about joining or setting up a union, you should find out about the ones that cover the type of work you do. For more information about unions, visit NZCTU. (external link)

A registered union has to: have at least 15 members, become an incorporated society and register as a union.

The Register of unions (external link) provides industry coverage data on all registered unions.

The Companies Office (external link) website can help you with union registration.

Employment relations education leave

Some members may be entitled to paid leave to attend approved employment relations education courses.

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