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

27 May, 2015 | Carolyn Ranson

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.

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
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Do you need assistance ensuring you’re meeting your obligations as an employer?

Protect your business and prevent problems before they happen — contact Employment Law expert, Carolyn Ranson today to set up an appointment.

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About the author

An experienced employment, estate litigation and elder law lawyer, Carolyn completed her law degree at City University, London in 1996. She was in house legal counsel for a large retirement village operator, before entering private practice at a city law
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