Employment Relations Act 2000

  • not the latest version

Reprint as at 1 July 2011

Employment Relations Act 2000

Public Act2000 No 24
Date of assent19 August 2000
Commencementsee section 2


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Department of Labour.


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Key provisions

3 Object of this Act

Good faith employment relations

4 Parties to employment relationship to deal with each other in good faith

4A Penalty for certain breaches of duty of good faith

Part 2
Preliminary provisions


5 Interpretation

6 Meaning of employee

6A Status of examples

Part 3
Freedom of association

7 Object of this Part

8 Voluntary membership of unions

9 Prohibition on preference

10 Contracts, agreements, or other arrangements inconsistent with section 8 or section 9

11 Undue influence

Part 4
Recognition and operation of unions

12 Object of this Part

Registration of unions and related matters

13 Application by society to register as union

14 When society entitled to be registered as union

15 Registration of society as union

16 Annual return of members

17 Cancellation of union's registration

Union's right to represent members

18 Union entitled to represent members' interests

Access to workplaces

19 Workplace does not include dwellinghouse

20 Access to workplaces

20A Representative of union must obtain consent to enter workplace

21 Conditions relating to access to workplaces

22 When access to workplaces may be denied

23 When access to workplaces may be denied on religious grounds

24 Issue of certificate of exemption

25 Penalty for certain acts in relation to entering workplace

Union meetings

26 Union meetings

Registrar of Unions

27 Registrar of Unions

28 Registrar of Unions may seek directions of Authority

29 Persons who have standing in proceedings relating to unions

30 Offence to mislead Registrar

Part 5
Collective bargaining

31 Object of this Part

Good faith

32 Good faith in bargaining for collective agreement

33 Duty of good faith requires parties to conclude collective agreement unless genuine reason not to

34 Providing information in bargaining for collective agreement

Codes of good faith

35 Codes of good faith

36 Appointment of committee to recommend codes of good faith

37 Minister may approve code of good faith not recommended by committee

38 Amendment and revocation of code of good faith

39 Authority or court may have regard to code of good faith


40 Who may initiate bargaining

41 When bargaining may be initiated

42 How bargaining initiated

43 Employees' attention to be drawn to initiation of bargaining

44 When bargaining initiated

45 One or more unions proposing to initiate bargaining with 2 or more employers for single collective agreement

46 Terms of question for secret ballot

47 When secret ballots required after employer initiates bargaining for single collective agreement

48 When requirement for secret ballot does not apply

49 Parties joining bargaining after it begins

50 Consolidation of bargaining

Facilitating bargaining

50A Purpose of facilitating collective bargaining

50B Reference to Authority

50C Grounds on which Authority may accept reference

50D Limitation on which member of Authority may provide facilitation

50E Process of facilitation

50F Statements made by parties during facilitation

50G Proposals made or positions reached during facilitation

50H Recommendation by Authority

50I Party must deal with Authority in good faith

Determining collective agreement if breach of duty of good faith

50J Remedy for serious and sustained breach of duty of good faith in section 4 in relation to collective bargaining

Collective agreements

51 Ratification of collective agreement

52 When collective agreement comes into force and expires

53 Continuation of collective agreement after specified expiry date

54 Form and content of collective agreement

55 Deduction of union fees

56 Application of collective agreement

56A Application of collective agreement to subsequent parties

57 Employee bound by only 1 collective agreement in respect of same work

58 Employee who resigns as member of union but does not resign as employee

59 Copy of collective agreement to be delivered to chief executive

Undermining collective bargaining or collective agreement

59A Interpretation

59B Breach of duty of good faith to pass on, in certain circumstances, in individual employment agreement terms and conditions agreed in collective bargaining or in collective agreement

59C Breach of duty of good faith to pass on, in certain circumstances, in collective agreement provisions agreed in other collective bargaining or another collective agreement

Part 6
Individual employees' terms and conditions of employment

60 Object of this Part

60A Good faith in bargaining for individual employment agreement

61 Employee bound by applicable collective agreement may agree to additional terms and conditions of employment

62 Employer's obligations in respect of new employee who is not member of union

63 Terms and conditions of employment of new employee who is not member of union

63A Bargaining for individual employment agreement or individual terms and conditions in employment agreement

64 Employer must retain copy of individual employment agreement or individual terms and conditions of employment

65 Terms and conditions of employment where no collective agreement applies

65A Deduction of union fees

66 Fixed term employment

67 Probationary arrangements

67A When employment agreement may contain provision for trial period for 90 days or less

67B Effect of trial provision under section 67A

68 Unfair bargaining for individual employment agreements

69 Remedies for unfair bargaining

Part 6AA
Flexible working

69AA Object of this Part

69AAA Interpretation

Employee's statutory right to make request

69AAB When employee may make request

69AAC Requirements relating to request

69AAD Limitation on frequency of requests

Duties of employer

69AAE Employer must notify decision as soon as possible

69AAF Grounds for refusal of request by employer

Resolving disputes

69AAG Role of Labour Inspector

69AAH Labour Inspectors and mediation

69AAI Application to Authority

69AAJ Penalty

69AAK Limitation on challenging employer

Review of Part

69AAL Review of operation of Part after 2 years

Part 6A
Continuity of employment if employees' work affected by restructuring

Subpart 1Specified categories of employees

69A Object of this subpart

69B Interpretation

69C Meaning of contracting in, contracting out, and subsequent contracting

69D Meaning of new employer

69E Examples of contracting in, contracting out, and subsequent contracting

69F Application of this subpart

69G Notice of right to make election

69H Employee bargaining for alternative arrangements

69I Employee may elect to transfer to new employer

69J Employment of employee who elects to transfer to new employer treated as continuous

69K Terms and conditions of employment of transferring employee under fixed term employment

69L Agreements excluding entitlements for technical redundancy not affected

69M New employer becomes party to collective agreement that binds employee electing to transfer

69N Employee who transfers may bargain for redundancy entitlements with new employer

69O Authority may investigate bargaining and determine redundancy entitlements

Subpart 2Disclosure of costs relating to transfer of employees under proposed restructuring

69OA Object of this subpart

69OB Interpretation

69OC Disclosure of employee transfer costs information

69OD Provision of employee transfer costs information by other persons

69OE Updating disclosure of employee transfer costs information

69OF Employer who is subject to Official Information Act 1982

69OG Subpart prevails over agreement

Subpart 3Other employees

69OH Object of this subpart

69OI Interpretation

69OJ Collective agreements and individual employment agreements must contain employee protection provision

69OK Affected employee may choose whether to transfer to new employer

Subpart 4Review of Part

69OL Review of operation of Part after 3 years

Part 6B
Bargaining fees

69P Interpretation

69Q Bargaining fee clause does not come into force unless agreed to first by employer and union and then by secret ballot

69R Employer to notify employees if bargaining fee clause agreed to

69S Which employees bargaining fee clause applies to

69T Bargaining fee clause binding on employer and employee

69U Amount of bargaining fee

69V Expiry of bargaining fee clause

69W Validity of bargaining fee clause

Part 6C
Breastfeeding facilities and breaks

69X Interpretation

69Y Employer's obligation

69Z Breastfeeding breaks additional to breaks under Part 6D

69ZA Code of employment practice relating to employer's obligation

69ZB Penalty

Part 6D
Rest breaks and meal breaks

69ZC Interpretation

69ZD Entitlement to rest breaks and meal breaks

69ZE When employer to provide rest breaks and meal breaks

69ZF Penalty

69ZG Relationship between Part and employment agreements

69ZH Relationship between Part and other enactments

Part 7
Employment relations education leave

70 Object of this Part

71 Interpretation

72 Minister to approve employment relations education

73 Union entitled to allocate employment relations education leave

74 Calculation of maximum number of days of employment relations education leave

75 Union to notify employer of maximum number of days of employment relations education leave calculated

76 Allocation of employment relations education leave calculated in respect of another employer

77 Allocation of employment relations education leave to eligible employee

78 Eligible employee proposing to take employment relations education leave

79 Eligible employee taking employment relations education leave entitled to ordinary pay

Part 8
Strikes and lockouts

80 Object of this Part


81 Meaning of strike

82 Meaning of lockout

Lawfulness of strikes and lockouts

83 Lawful strikes and lockouts related to collective bargaining

84 Lawful strikes and lockouts on grounds of safety or health

85 Effect of lawful strike or lockout

86 Unlawful strikes or lockouts

Suspension of employees during strikes

87 Suspension of striking employees

88 Suspension of non-striking employees where work not available during strike

89 Basis of suspension

Essential services

90 Strikes in essential services

91 Lockouts in essential services

92 Chief executive to ensure mediation services provided

Procedure to provide public with notice before strike or lockout in certain passenger transport services

93 Procedure to provide public with notice before strike in certain passenger transport services

94 Procedure to provide public with notice before lockout in certain passenger transport services

95 Penalty for breach of section 93 or section 94

Employer's liability for wages during lockout

96 Employer not liable for wages during lockout

Performance of duties of striking or locked out employees

97 Performance of duties of striking or locked out employees

Record of strikes and lockouts

98 Record of strikes and lockouts

Jurisdiction of Employment Court

99 Jurisdiction of court in relation to torts

100 Jurisdiction of court in relation to injunctions

Part 8A
Codes of employment practice and code of good faith for public health sector

Codes of employment practice

100A Codes of employment practice

100B Amendment and revocation of code of practice

100C Authority or court may have regard to code of practice

Code of good faith for public health sector

100D Code of good faith for public health sector

100E Amendments to or replacement of code of good faith for public health sector

100F Code of good faith for employment relationships in relation to provision of services by New Zealand Police

100G Amendments to or replacement of code of good faith for employment relationships in relation to provision of services by New Zealand Police

Part 9
Personal grievances, disputes, and enforcement


101 Object of this Part

Personal grievances

102 Employee may pursue personal grievance under this Act

103 Personal grievance

103A Test of justification

104 Discrimination

105 Prohibited grounds of discrimination for purposes of section 104

106 Exceptions in relation to discrimination

107 Definition of involvement in activities of union for purposes of section 104

108 Sexual harassment

109 Racial harassment

110 Duress

110A Membership of KiwiSaver scheme or complying superannuation fund [Repealed]

111 Definitions relating to personal grievances

112 Choice of procedures

113 Personal grievance provisions only way to challenge dismissal

114 Raising personal grievance

115 Further provision regarding exceptional circumstances under section 114

116 Special provision where sexual harassment alleged

117 Sexual or racial harassment by person other than employer

118 Sexual or racial harassment after steps not taken to prevent repetition

119 Presumption in discrimination cases

120 Statement of reasons for dismissal

121 Statements privileged

122 Nature of personal grievance may be found to be of different type from that alleged

Remedies in relation to personal grievances

123 Remedies

124 Remedy reduced if contributing behaviour by employee

125 Remedy of reinstatement

126 Provisions applying if reinstatement ordered

127 Authority may order interim reinstatement

128 Reimbursement


129 Person bound by, or party to, employment agreement may pursue dispute under this Act

Recovery of wages

130 Wages and time record

131 Arrears

132 Failure to keep or produce records


133 Jurisdiction concerning penalties

134 Penalties for breach of employment agreement

134A Penalty for obstructing or delaying Authority investigation

135 Recovery of penalties

136 Application of penalties recovered

Compliance orders

137 Power of Authority to order compliance

138 Further provisions relating to compliance order by Authority

139 Power of court to order compliance

140 Further provisions relating to compliance order by court

140A Compliance order in relation to disclosure of employee transfer costs information

Enforcement of order

141 Enforcement of order

Limitation period for actions other than personal grievances

142 Limitation period for actions other than personal grievances

Part 10

143 Object of this Part

Mediation services

144 Mediation services

144A Dispute resolution services

145 Provision of mediation services

146 Access to mediation services

147 Procedure in relation to mediation services

148 Confidentiality

148A Minimum entitlements

149 Settlements

149A Recommendation to parties

150 Decision by authority of parties

150A Payment on resolution of problem

151 Enforcement of terms of settlement agreed or authorised

152 Mediation services not to be questioned as being inappropriate

153 Independence of mediation personnel

154 Other mediation services

155 Arbitration

Employment Relations Authority

156 Employment Relations Authority

157 Role of Authority

158 Lodging of applications

159 Duty of Authority to consider mediation

159A Duty of Authority to prioritise previously mediated matters

160 Powers of Authority

161 Jurisdiction

162 Application of law relating to contracts

163 Restriction on Authority's power in relation to collective agreements

164 Application to individual employment agreements of law relating to contracts

165 Other provisions relating to investigations of Authority

166 Membership of Authority

166A Role of Chief of Authority

167 Appointment of members

168 Oath of office

169 Term of office

170 Vacation of office

171 Salaries and allowances

172 Temporary appointments

173 Procedure

173A Recommendation to parties

174 Determinations

175 Seal of Authority

176 Protection of members of Authority, etc

177 Referral of question of law

178 Removal to court

178A Challenge in respect of dismissal of frivolous or vexatious proceedings

179 Challenges to determinations of Authority

179A Limitation on challenges to certain determinations of Authority

179B Limitations on consideration by Employment Court of matters arising under Part 6AA

180 Election not to operate as stay

181 Report in relation to good faith

182 Hearings

183 Decision

184 Restriction on review

185 Staff of Authority

Employment Court

186 Employment Court

187 Jurisdiction of court

188 Role in relation to jurisdiction

189 Equity and good conscience

190 Application of other provisions

191 Other provisions relating to proceedings of court

192 Application to collective agreements of law relating to contracts

193 Proceedings not to be questioned

194 Application for review

194A Application for review by certain employees

195 Non-attendance or refusal to co-operate

196 Contempt of court or Authority

197 Constitution of court

198 Registrar and officers of court

199 Seal of court

Judges of the court

200 Appointment of Judges

200A Judges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time

201 Seniority

202 Senior Judge to act as Chief Judge in certain circumstances

203 Judges to have immunities of High Court Judges

204 Protection of Judges against removal from office

205 Age of retirement

206 Salaries and allowances of Judges

207 Appointment of temporary Judges

208 Sittings

209 Full court

210 Quorum and decision of court

211 Statement of case for Court of Appeal

212 Court may make rules

Review of proceedings

213 Review of proceedings before court


214 Appeals on question of law

214A Appeals to Supreme Court on question of law in exceptional circumstances

215 Court of Appeal may refer appeals back for reconsideration

Special provision in respect of appeals

216 Obligation to have regard to special jurisdiction of court

Other appeals

217 Appeal to Court of Appeal against conviction or order or sentence in respect of contempt of court

218 Appeal to Court of Appeal in respect of order on application for review

Miscellaneous provisions

219 Validation of informal proceedings, etc

220 Documents under seal and certain signatures to be judicially noticed

221 Joinder, waiver, and extension of time

222 Application of Official Information Act 1982

Part 11
General provisions

Labour Inspectors

223 Labour Inspectors

223A Functions of Labour Inspector

Enforceable undertakings

223B Enforceable undertakings

223C Enforcement of undertakings

Improvement notices

223D Labour Inspector may issue improvement notice

223E Objection to improvement notice

223F Penalty

223G Withdrawal of improvement notice

Demand notices

224 Demand notice

225 Objections to demand notice

226 Authority to determine objection

227 Withdrawal of demand notice

Actions to recover wages or holiday pay, etc

228 Actions by Labour Inspector


229 Powers of Labour Inspectors

230 Entry of dwellinghouses

231 Entry warrant

232 Compilation of wages and time record

233 Obligations of Labour Inspectors

234 Circumstances in which officers, directors, or agents of company liable for minimum wages and holiday pay

235 Obstruction


236 Representation

Miscellaneous provisions

237 Regulations

237A Amendments to Schedule 1A

238 No contracting out

239 New Schedule 3 substituted in Police Act 1958

240 Consequential amendments

241 Repeals

Transitional provisions

242 Enforcement of existing individual employment contracts

243 Enforcement of existing collective employment contracts

244 Existing collective employment contracts and collective bargaining

245 Existing procedures in relation to disputes and personal grievances

246 Expiration of existing collective employment contracts

247 Existing proceedings

248 Existing causes of action

249 Employment Tribunal

250 Exercise of powers of Employment Tribunal after 31 January 2001

251 Exercise of powers of Authority before close of 31 January 2001

252 Exercise by Authority of powers of Tribunal after 31 January 2001

253 Existing appointments

Schedule 1
Essential services

Schedule 1A
Employees to whom subpart 1 of Part 6A applies

Schedule 1B
Code of good faith for public health sector

Schedule 1C
Code of good faith for employment relationships in relation to provision of services by Police

Schedule 2
Provisions having effect in relation to Employment Relations Authority

Schedule 3
Provisions having effect in relation to Employment Court

Schedule 4
New Schedule 3 of Police Act 1958

Schedule 5
Enactments amended

Schedule 6
Enactments repealed

Employment Relations (Validation of Union Registration and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2001

Employment Relations Amendment Act (No 2) 2004

Employment Relations Amendment Act 2006

Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding, and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008

Employment Relations Amendment Act 2008

Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Act 2010

Reprint notes