The Employment Relations Act has now been in force for some time and it is important that your employment agreements with staff are reviewed to ensure that they comply with the new requirements.

There are new requirements for new agreements. Some of them are:

  • All agreements must be in writing.
  • All agreements must have provisions regarding the mediation services available from the Labour Department.
  • All employees must be given notice that they can seek independent advice on individual agreements before they sign (and an opportunity to do so).
  • New employees are covered by collective agreements (if one exists) automatically for 30 days.
  • Fixed term agreements cannot be used to trial employees.
  • Fixed term agreements are only allowed in certain limited circumstances.
  • The 90 day rule for bringing personal grievances must be stated in all agreements.
  • Mandatory clauses are required concerning transferring to a new business when a restructuring occurs. These must be in place as new agreements are entered into, old agreements amended and in all cases by 1 December 2005.
  • Mandatory clause are required concerning time and a half payments for working on a public holiday.

We would suggest that a review be carried out of the employment agreements presently in force with a view to ensuring a smooth transition to new agreements as they fall due or new employees are taken on.