Employment Standards Legislation Bill Passes

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill was passed last week and comes into effect 1 April 2016, changing the following five key employment laws:

  • Employment Relations Act 2000
  • The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987
  • Minimum Wage Act 1983
  • Holidays Act 2003
  • Wages Protection Act 1983

The impact of the new law includes:

  • Addressing unfair employment practices such as "zero hour contracts", by setting requirements for agreed hours of work, "availability" provisions, and cancellation of shifts;
  • Making wage, time and leave record keeping obligations consistent across all employment laws;
  • Requiring employers to consult regarding deductions from remuneration, and prohibiting unreasonable deductions;
  • Restricting unreasonable prohibitions on secondary employment;
  • Extending paid parental leave to more workers and increase flexibility; and
  • Strengthening enforcement of employment standards.

Last minute proposed changes which would have required employers to compensate employees working intermittently or irregularly for public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave were excluded from the Bill at the final reading.

To ensure compliance with these changes, employers will need to review and revise their employment agreements.  To find out more about the changes, contact us.    Progressive Consulting and Copeland Ashcroft Law will be talking about the changes in presentations throughout New Zealand this month.  For details on those events and to register, visit http://copelandashcroft.co.nz/training-events