Security officers – additional employment protections

Changes to the Employment Relations Act which provide security officers with additional employment protections came into effect on 1 July 2021.

The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety received an application from E tū to amend Schedule 1A of the Employment Relations Act to include security officers.

Occupations listed in Schedule 1A receive additional employment protections in certain restructuring situations set out in Subpart 1 of Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act.

This Subpart provides specified employees who are affected by certain restructuring situations, such as a company being sold or a contract being transferred, with the option to transfer to the new employer on the same terms and conditions.

In December 2020, the Cabinet agreed to include security officers in Schedule 1A.

The employment changes give security guards the same employment protections already held by cleaning, catering and some laundry and caretaking workers under the Act when an employer’s business is restructured.

Read more about how Part 6A operates(external link) — Employment NZ website

Read the Employment Relations (Extending Part 6A Protections to Security Officers) Order 2021(external link) — NZ Legislation website

In order to be added to Schedule 1A certain criteria must be met

The Minister may make a recommendation to amend Schedule 1A if he is satisfied that the following criteria are met. The criteria are:

  • Employees who are employed in a sector in which restructuring of their employer’s business occurs frequently; and
  • Their terms and conditions of employment tend to be undermined by the restructuring of an employer’s business; and
  • the employees have little bargaining power.

MBIE has gathered evidence and provided a report to the Minister on whether the criteria are met. Submissions on MBIE’s report closed in June 2020.

Last updated: 01 July 2021