We had a huge response to our recent email about key changes to employment law in New Zealand, with a number of requests for more information. With that in mind, we’ve written a more detailed review of the changes.
The Government has made key changes to employment Law in New Zealand and we have updated our entire Employment Toolkit to ensure you have legally compliant documents and templates covering all aspects of your employment relationship. You can download the new documents here.
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill introduces changes to zero-hour contracts and helps enforce minimum employment standards to help protect vulnerable workers. These include a new infringement notice regime, clearer record-keeping requirements and tougher sanctions for the most serious breaches.
These changes will help prevent unfair employment practices and strengthen minimum wage and holiday entitlements including:
- When hiring, employers must guarantee to give employee’s agreed hours of work
- Employers won’t be able to expect employee’s to be available to work with no guarantee of hours without paying reasonable compensation
- Employers won’t be able to cancel a shift without giving employee’s reasonable notice or compensation, both of which must be set out in an employment agreement
- Employers won’t be able to make unreasonable deductions from wages
- Employers won’t be able to unreasonably restrict an employee’s secondary employment
- Employers will be publicly named if the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court finds they have breached minimum standards
- Individuals can be banned as a manager if they commit serious or persistent breaches of employment standards
- Directors, senior managers and legal advisors can also be held accountable for breaches of employment standards
- Labour inspectors can now share information with other regulators such as Immigration NZ, IRD and the Companies Office
- Labour inspectors can now request financial or bank records from employers
How much money will these changes cost me?
For most businesses there won’t be any increase in compliance costs with these changes in legislation, the focus is on businesses not currently meeting their obligations. These businesses need to become compliant or risk facing financial penalties.
For more information on compliance, give us a call on 0800 HRtoolkit (0800 47 86 65).We don’t charge for those quick questions, and often a few minutes with our experts is all you will need.
What are the penalties for breaches of the new legislation?
- Businesses found guilty of moderate breaches will be fined $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a company
- Businesses found guilty of serious breaches will be fined up to $50,000 for an individual and up to $100,000 for a company
What records will I need to keep?
An important section of the new legislation deals with clearer record keeping requirements for wages, time, holidays and leave. Employers now need to keep a record of the hours each of their employees work each day, and the pay they receive for those hours. Additional hours worked by employees on salaries doesn’t generally need to be recorded, but minimum employment entitlements still need to be met.
For more information about these changes to employment Law, give us a call on 0800 HRtoolkit (0800 47 86 65). We don’t charge for those quick questions, and often a few minutes with our experts is all you will need.
Changes to the document library include:
Fixed-term, full-time, salary (hours as required) employment agreement
Fixed-term, full-time, salary (overtime or time in lieu payable) employment agreement
Fixed-term, part-time, salary (overtime or time in lieu payable) employment agreement
Fixed-term, part-time (hourly paid) employment agreement
Fixed-term (hours variable week to week) employment agreement
Full-time, salary (hours as required) employment agreement
Independent contractor employment agreement
Lower guaranteed hours employment agreement
Permanent, full-time (hours variable week to week) employment agreement
Permanent, full-time, salary (overtime or time in lieu payable) employment agreement
Permanent, part-time (hourly paid) employment agreement
Permanent, part-time, salary (overtime or time in lieu payable) employment agreement
Offer cover letter
Quick guide to employment agreements
Universal casual employment agreement
Universal fixed-term employment agreement
Universal permanent employment agreement
You can download the new documents here, or chat with our experts on 0800 HRtoolkit (0800 47 86 65) during business hours.