Employment Relations Amendment Act

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 gives effect to the Government’s 100-day commitments in workplace relations.

The Act's purpose

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 was passed into law on 6 December 2018. It introduced a number of employment law changes that aimed to improve fairness in the workplace and deliver decent work conditions and fair wages.

The Act restored protections for workers, especially vulnerable workers, and strengthened the role of collective bargaining in the workplace. Many of the changes were familiar to businesses, as they rolled the law back to how it was as recently as 2015.

The main changes included:

  • reinstating set 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 trial to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

Most changes take effect on Monday 6 May 2019.

For more detailed information on how the changes could affect you, visit the Employment New Zealand website(external link).

Read the Minister’s announcement of the passage of the Act(external link).

Documents relating to the Act's development

Regulatory Impact Statement 1: 100-day commitments in Employment Relations [PDF, 338 KB]

Regulatory Impact Statement 2: Further 100-day commitments in Employment Relations [PDF, 260 KB]

Briefing: Proposed Changes to Employment Legislation [PDF, 370 KB]

Cabinet paper: 100-days commitments: A fairer workplace relations system [PDF, 316 KB]

Briefing: Draft Employment Relations Amendment Bill: Approval for Introduction [PDF, 199 KB]

Cabinet paper: Employment Relations Amendment Bill: Outstanding Issues and Approval for Introduction [PDF, 129 KB]