Employment Law Update

Employment Law Update
Tuesday March 12, 2019

Changes to New Zealand’s Employment Law are coming into force as a result of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018.  These changes will have a significant impact on some employers.  Below is a break-down of some of the changes.

“Reinstatement” the Primary Remedy

Reinstatement of an employee to their former position is again the primary remedy in the Employment Relations Authority for personal grievances.

As of 1 April 2019: 

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage will continue to increase each year.  As of 1 April 2019, it will increase to $17.70 per hour (which is an increase of $1.20 per hour).

Payday Information

It will be compulsory for employers to submit employment information each payday rather than on a monthly basis.

Domestic Violence - Victims Protection Bill

Employers will need to factor in an extra 10 days paid leave per year for employees.

As of 6 May 2019: 

90 Day Trial Period

Only employers with fewer than 20 employees will be able to use 90 day trial periods for new employees.  This will apply to Employment Agreements agreed to on or after 6 May 2019.  For employers who are no longer able to use 90 day trial periods from that point, will have the option of including a probationary period in agreements with new employees.  We would be happy to assist employers in updating their employment agreements to include a probationary period clause and also guiding employers through the probationary period process.

Rest and Meal Breaks

The regulated rest and meal breaks will be reinstated which stipulates when breaks will be taken.

For more information on these changes or to update your employment agreement templates and policies, please contact us.