The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014: What employers and employees need to know.

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The Government has introduced amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000, which affect you as an employer or as an employee.

The changes include:

Flexible working arrangements

The ability to apply has been extended to all employees, regardless of whether they have dependants. In addition:

  • Employees no longer need to have been employed for six months prior to the request.
  • There is now no limit on number of requests.
  • There are greater obligations on the employer to respond, including within a shorter time period.

Flexibility for rest and meal breaks

Negotiation encouraged between employers and employees. Rest breaks must be paid, and employees must be compensated if breaks are not taken.

Continuity of employment

Greater clarity as to process, and obligations to employees, when an employer sells the business.

Redundancy

Good Faith requirement has been better defined, particularly regarding what information employees are entitled to during restructures or other situations where their continued employment is at risk.

Strikes and lockouts

Advanced written notice is required of proposed strikes and lockouts in all sectors.

Collective Bargaining

Good Faith does not require parties to reach a collective agreement. Parties are able to ask the Authority to declare that bargaining has ended and employers may opt out of multi-employee bargaining from the start.

Quicker outcome

The Employment Relations Authority must now provide an oral determination or indication of preliminary findings within one month of an employee grievance investigation meeting or hearing.

The changes came into force on 6 March 2015. 

See also Employment Law proposal for employers - increased obligations and tougher penalties.

 

In accordance with our obligations under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, we cannot provide legal advice unless you have become a client of Smith and Partners and have received our Terms & Conditions of Engagement and Info for Clients.

 If you would like advice on any employment law related matters, please contact Suzanne Sumner, Personal Assistant to employment law expert, Carolyn Ranson to find out how you can become a client of Smith and Partners and to set up an appointment to discuss your employment matter with Carolyn.

 Suzanne Sumner

Ph: 09 837 6840

Email: Suzanne.sumner@smithpartners.co.nz

Enquire online

 (Please note we do not offer no win – no fee payment arrangements)

 

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