In a recent survey undertaken by Statistics New Zealand, it has emerged that around 1 in 10 New Zealand workers do not have a written employment agreement.

The survey found that a higher number of part-time and causal workers did not have employment agreements as well as those working in high-risk industries such as forestry, fishing, and farming.

Under the Employment Relations Act, it is a legal requirement to have a written employment agreement.

The agreement must include the names of the employee and employer, a description of the work to be performed and where the employee is to perform that work, as well as an indication of the employee’s hours and pay rate. The agreement must also record how employment disputes will be resolved.

Employers must keep a copy of all draft agreements provided to the employee/potential employee as well as a copy of the signed agreement.

Employers are required to comply with the Act and can be penalised if they are found to be in breach of the minimum standards of employment.