Parliament passes changes to Employment Relations Act

On: 6 December 2018

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018, passed in Parliament yesterday, introduces a number of employment law changes that aim to improve fairness in the workplace and deliver decent work conditions and fair wages.

These changes reflect the Government's 100-day commitments in workplace relations.

The Act restores protections for workers, especially vulnerable workers, and strengthens the role of collective bargaining in the workplace. Many of the changes are familiar to businesses, as they roll the law back to how it was as recently as 2015.

The key changes include:

  • reinstating prescribed meal and rest breaks
  • strengthening collective bargaining and union rights
  • restoring protections for vulnerable workers, such as those in the cleaning and catering industries, regardless of the size of their employer
  • limiting 90-day trials to business with fewer than 20 employees.

Most changes take effect on Monday 6 May 2019. For detailed information on how the changes could affect you, visit the Employment New Zealand website.

Read the Minister’s announcement on the passage of the Act.

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