Employment Relations Act 2000

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment
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Reprint as at 28 September 2017

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Employment Relations Act 2000

Public Act
2000 No 24
Date of assent
19 August 2000
see section 2

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.


3Object of this Act
4Parties to employment relationship to deal with each other in good faith
4APenalty for certain breaches of duty of good faith
4BEmployer’s general obligation to keep records relating to minimum entitlement provisions
5AProvisions affecting application of amendments to this Act
6Meaning of employee
6AStatus of examples
7Object of this Part
8Voluntary membership of unions
9Prohibition on preference
10Contracts, agreements, or other arrangements inconsistent with section 8 or section 9
11Undue influence
12Object of this Part
13Application by society to register as union
14When society entitled to be registered as union
15Registration of society as union
16Annual return of members
17Cancellation of union’s registration
18Union entitled to represent members’ interests
19Workplace does not include dwellinghouse
20Access to workplaces
20ARepresentative of union must obtain consent to enter workplace
21Conditions relating to access to workplaces
22When access to workplaces may be denied
23When access to workplaces may be denied on religious grounds
24Issue of certificate of exemption
25Penalty for certain acts in relation to entering workplace
26Union meetings
27Registrar of Unions
28Registrar of Unions may seek directions of Authority
29Persons who have standing in proceedings relating to unions
30Offence to mislead Registrar
31Object of this Part
32Good faith in bargaining for collective agreement
33Duty of good faith does not require collective agreement to be concluded
34Providing information in bargaining for collective agreement
35Codes of good faith
36Appointment of committee to recommend codes of good faith
37Minister may approve code of good faith not recommended by committee
38Amendment and revocation of code of good faith
39Authority or court may have regard to code of good faith
40Who may initiate bargaining
41When bargaining may be initiated
42How bargaining initiated
43Employees’ attention to be drawn to initiation of bargaining
44When bargaining initiated
44AEmployer may opt out of bargaining for collective agreement, or for agreement to join collective agreement, involving 2 or more employers
44BHow to opt out
44CEffect of opting out
45One or more unions proposing to initiate bargaining with 2 or more employers for single collective agreement
46Terms of question for secret ballot
47When secret ballots required after employer initiates bargaining for single collective agreement
48When requirement for secret ballot does not apply
49Parties joining bargaining after it begins
50Consolidation of bargaining
50APurpose of facilitating collective bargaining
50BReference to Authority
50CGrounds on which Authority may accept reference
50DLimitation on which member of Authority may provide facilitation
50EProcess of facilitation
50FStatements made by parties during facilitation
50GProposals made or positions reached during facilitation
50HRecommendation by Authority
50IParty must deal with Authority in good faith
50JRemedy for serious and sustained breach of duty of good faith in section 4 in relation to collective bargaining
50KAuthority may determine that bargaining has concluded
50KADeclaration or determination under section 50K not to be made if breach of duty of good faith by party seeking declaration
51Ratification of collective agreement
52When collective agreement comes into force and expires
53Continuation of collective agreement after specified expiry date
54Form and content of collective agreement
55Deduction of union fees
56Application of collective agreement
56AApplication of collective agreement to subsequent parties
57Employee bound by only 1 collective agreement in respect of same work
58Employee who resigns as member of union but does not resign as employee
59Copy of collective agreement to be delivered to chief executive
59BBreach 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
59CBreach of duty of good faith to pass on, in certain circumstances, in collective agreement provisions agreed in other collective bargaining or another collective agreement
60Object of this Part
60AGood faith in bargaining for individual employment agreement
61Employee bound by applicable collective agreement may agree to additional terms and conditions of employment
62Employer’s obligations in respect of new employee who is not member of union
63Terms and conditions of employment of new employee who is not member of union [Repealed]
63ABargaining for individual employment agreement or individual terms and conditions in employment agreement
64Employer must retain copy of individual employment agreement or individual terms and conditions of employment
65Form and content of individual employment agreement
65ADeduction of union fees
66Fixed term employment
67Probationary arrangements
67AWhen employment agreement may contain provision for trial period for 90 days or less
67BEffect of trial provision under section 67A
67CAgreed hours of work
67DAvailability provision
67EEmployee may refuse to perform certain work
67FEmployee not to be treated adversely because of refusal to perform certain work
67GCancellation of shifts
67HSecondary employment provisions
68Unfair bargaining for individual employment agreements
69Remedies for unfair bargaining
69AAObject of this Part
69AABWhen employee may make request
69AACRequirements relating to request
69AADLimitation on frequency of requests [Repealed]
69AAEEmployer must notify decision as soon as possible
69AAFGrounds for refusal of request by employer
69AAGRole of Labour Inspector
69AAHLabour Inspectors and mediation
69AAIApplication to Authority
69AAKLimitation on challenging employer
69AALReview of operation of Part after 2 years [Repealed]
69AObject of this subpart
69CMeaning of contracting in, contracting out, and subsequent contracting
69CAExempt employer
69CCPersons warranty to be provided to
69CDProvision of information for purposes of giving warranty
69CEWhen warranty must be provided
69DMeaning of new employer
69DAAssociated person
69EExamples of contracting in, contracting out, and subsequent contracting
69FApplication of this subpart
69FAEmployer’s breach of obligations not to affect employee’s rights and new employer’s obligations
69GNotice of right to make election
69HEmployee bargaining for alternative arrangements
69IEmployee may elect to transfer to new employer in certain circumstances
69JEmployment of employee who elects to transfer to new employer treated as continuous
69KTerms and conditions of employment of transferring employee under fixed term employment
69LAgreements excluding entitlements for technical redundancy not affected
69LALiability for costs of service-related entitlements of transferring employee
69LBResolving disputes about apportioning liability for costs of service-related entitlements
69LCImplied warranty by employer of transferring employees
69MNew employer becomes party to collective agreement that binds employee electing to transfer
69NEmployee who transfers may bargain for redundancy entitlements with new employer
69OAuthority may investigate bargaining and determine redundancy entitlements
69OAAFalse warranty: exempt employer
69OAObject of this subpart
69OCDisclosure of employee transfer costs information
69ODProvision of employee transfer costs information by other persons
69OEUpdating disclosure of employee transfer costs information
69OEADisclosure of individualised employee information
69OFEmployer who is subject to Official Information Act 1982
69OGSubpart prevails over agreement
69OHObject of this subpart
69OJCollective agreements and individual employment agreements must contain employee protection provision
69OKAffected employee may choose whether to transfer to new employer
69OLReview of operation of Part after 3 years [Repealed]
69QBargaining fee clause does not come into force unless agreed to first by employer and union and then by secret ballot
69REmployer to notify employees if bargaining fee clause agreed to
69SWhich employees bargaining fee clause applies to
69TBargaining fee clause binding on employer and employee
69UAmount of bargaining fee
69VExpiry of bargaining fee clause
69WValidity of bargaining fee clause
69YEmployer’s obligation
69ZBreastfeeding breaks additional to breaks under Part 6D
69ZACode of employment practice relating to employer’s obligation
69ZDEmployee’s entitlement to rest breaks and meal breaks
69ZETiming and duration of rest breaks and meal breaks
69ZEACompensatory measures
69ZEBCompensatory measure must be reasonable
69ZGRelationship between Part and employment agreements
69ZHRelationship between Part and other enactments
70Object of this Part
72Minister to approve employment relations education
73Union entitled to allocate employment relations education leave
74Calculation of maximum number of days of employment relations education leave
75Union to notify employer of maximum number of days of employment relations education leave calculated
76Allocation of employment relations education leave calculated in respect of another employer
77Allocation of employment relations education leave to eligible employee
78Eligible employee proposing to take employment relations education leave
79Eligible employee taking employment relations education leave entitled to ordinary pay
80Object of this Part
81Meaning of strike
82Meaning of lockout
82ARequirement for union to hold secret ballot before strike
82BTerms of question for secret ballot
82CWhen requirement for secret ballot does not apply
83Lawful strikes and lockouts related to collective bargaining
84Lawful strikes and lockouts on grounds of safety or health
85Effect of lawful strike or lockout
86Unlawful strikes or lockouts
86ANotice of strike
86BNotice of lockout
87Suspension of striking employees
88Suspension of non-striking employees where work not available during strike
89Basis of suspension
90Strikes in essential services
91Lockouts in essential services
92Chief executive to ensure mediation services provided
93Procedure to provide public with notice before strike in certain passenger transport services
94Procedure to provide public with notice before lockout in certain passenger transport services
95Penalty for breach of section 93(4) or 94(4)
95AAWithdrawal of notice of strike or lockout
95AMeaning of partial strike and specified pay deduction
95BEmployer may make specified pay deductions in relation to partial strike
95CNotice of specified pay deduction
95DCalculation of specified pay deduction
95ERelationship between specified pay deduction and minimum wage
95FUnion may request information about specified pay deduction
95GEmployer must respond to request for information about specified pay deduction
95HResolution of problem relating to specified pay deduction
96Employer not liable for wages during lockout
97Performance of duties of striking or locked out employees
98Record of strikes and lockouts
99Jurisdiction of court in relation to torts
100Jurisdiction of court in relation to injunctions
100ACodes of employment practice
100BAmendment and revocation of code of practice
100CAuthority or court may have regard to code of practice
100DCode of good faith for public health sector
100EAmendments to or replacement of code of good faith for public health sector
100FCode of good faith for employment relationships in relation to provision of services by New Zealand Police
100GAmendments to or replacement of code of good faith for employment relationships in relation to provision of services by New Zealand Police
101Object of this Part
102Employee may pursue personal grievance under this Act
103Personal grievance
103ATest of justification
105Prohibited grounds of discrimination for purposes of section 104
106Exceptions in relation to discrimination
107Definition of involvement in activities of union for purposes of section 104
108Sexual harassment
109Racial harassment
110AAdverse conduct for prohibited health and safety reason
111Definitions relating to personal grievances
112Choice of procedures
113Personal grievance provisions only way to challenge dismissal
114Raising personal grievance
115Further provision regarding exceptional circumstances under section 114
116Special provision where sexual harassment alleged
117Sexual or racial harassment by person other than employer
118Sexual or racial harassment after steps not taken to prevent repetition
119Presumption in discrimination cases
120Statement of reasons for dismissal
121Statements privileged
122Nature of personal grievance may be found to be of different type from that alleged
124Remedy reduced if contributing behaviour by employee
125Remedy of reinstatement
126Provisions applying if reinstatement ordered
127Authority may order interim reinstatement
129Person bound by, or party to, employment agreement may pursue dispute under this Act
130Wages and time record
132Failure to keep or produce records
133Jurisdiction concerning penalties
133AMatters Authority and court to have regard to in determining amount of penalty
134Penalties for breach of employment agreement
134APenalty for obstructing or delaying Authority investigation
135Recovery of penalties
135AChief executive or Labour Inspector may enforce payment of penalty
136Application of penalties recovered
137Power of Authority to order compliance
138Further provisions relating to compliance order by Authority
139Power of court to order compliance
140Further provisions relating to compliance order by court
140AASanctions for breaches without compliance order
140ACompliance order in relation to disclosure of employee transfer costs information and individualised employee information
141Enforcement of order
142Limitation period for actions other than personal grievances
142AObject of this Part
142BCourt may make declarations of breach
142CPurpose and effect of declarations of breach
142DWhat declaration of breach must state
142EPecuniary penalty orders
142FMatters court to have regard to in determining amount of pecuniary penalty
142GMaximum amount of pecuniary penalty
142HChief executive or Labour Inspector may enforce payment of pecuniary penalty
142ILimitation period for actions for pecuniary penalty orders
142JCourt may make compensation orders
142KApplication of section 132 of this Act and section 83 of Holidays Act 2003
142LTerms of compensation orders
142MBanning orders
142NTerms of banning order
142ODuration of banning order
142PVariation of banning order
142QGeneral provisions for banning orders
142ROffence to breach banning order
142SStandard of proof
142TMore than one kind of order may be made for same breach
142UNo pecuniary penalty and criminal sanction or other penalty for same conduct
142VInsurance against pecuniary penalties unlawful
142WInvolvement in breaches
142XPerson involved in breach liable to penalty
142YWhen person involved in breach liable for default in payment of wages or other money due to employee
142ZState of mind of directors, employees, or agents attributed to body corporate or other principal
142ZAConduct of directors, employees, or agents attributed to body corporate or other principal
142ZBProceedings in which defences apply
142ZCDefences for person in breach
142ZDDefences for person involved in breach
143Object of this Part
144Mediation services
144ADispute resolution services
145Provision of mediation services
146Access to mediation services
147Procedure in relation to mediation services
148ACertain entitlements may be subject to mediation and agreed terms of settlement
149ARecommendation to parties
150Decision by authority of parties
150APayment on resolution of problem
151Enforcement of terms of settlement agreed or authorised
152Mediation services not to be questioned as being inappropriate
153Independence of mediation personnel
154Other mediation services
156Employment Relations Authority
157Role of Authority
158Lodging of applications
159Duty of Authority to consider mediation
159AAWhen mediation in relation to breach of employment standards is appropriate
159ADuty of Authority to prioritise previously mediated matters
160Powers of Authority
162Application of law relating to contracts
163Restriction on Authority’s power in relation to collective agreements
164Application to individual employment agreements of law relating to contracts
165Other provisions relating to investigations of Authority
166Membership of Authority
166ARole of Chief of Authority
166BDelegation of Chief of Authority’s functions, duties, or powers
167Appointment of members
168Oath of office
169Term of office
170Vacation of office
171Salaries and allowances
172Temporary appointments
172AReports from Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
173ARecommendation to parties
174Authority must give oral determination or oral indication of preliminary findings wherever practicable
174AOral determinations
174BOral indication of preliminary findings
174CAuthority may reserve determination
174DAuthority may determine matter without holding investigation meeting
174EContent of written determinations
175Seal of Authority
176Protection of members of Authority, etc
177Referral of question of law
178Removal to court
178AChallenge in respect of dismissal of frivolous or vexatious proceedings
179Challenges to determinations of Authority
179ALimitation on challenges to certain determinations of Authority
179BLimitations on consideration by Employment Court of matters arising under Part 6AA
179CLimitations on consideration by Employment Court of matters arising under section 30D of Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987
180Election not to operate as stay
181Report in relation to good faith
184Restriction on review
185Staff of Authority
186Employment Court
187Jurisdiction of court
188Role in relation to jurisdiction
188AWhen mediation in relation to breach of employment standards is appropriate
189Equity and good conscience
190Application of other provisions
191Other provisions relating to proceedings of court
192Application to collective agreements of law relating to contracts
193Proceedings not to be questioned
194Application for review
194AApplication for review by certain employees
195Non-attendance or refusal to co-operate
196Contempt of court or Authority
197Constitution of court
198Registrar and officers of court
198ARegistrar may take affidavit
199Seal of court
200Appointment of Judges
200AAJudge not to undertake other employment or hold other office
200ABProtocol relating to activities of Judges
200AJudges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time
202Senior Judge to act as Chief Judge in certain circumstances
203Judges to have immunities of High Court Judges
204Protection of Judges against removal from office
205Age of retirement
206Salaries and allowances of Judges
207Appointment of acting Judges
209Full court
210Quorum and decision of court
211Statement of case for Court of Appeal
212Court may make rules
213Review of proceedings before court
214Appeals on question of law
214AAAppeals against decisions under Part 9A
214AAppeals to Supreme Court on question of law in exceptional circumstances
215Court of Appeal may refer appeals back for reconsideration
216Obligation to have regard to special jurisdiction of court
217Appeal to Court of Appeal against conviction or order or sentence in respect of contempt of court
218Appeal to Court of Appeal in respect of order on application for review
219Validation of informal proceedings, etc
220Documents under seal and certain signatures to be judicially noticed
221Joinder, waiver, and extension of time
222Application of Official Information Act 1982
222AInformation regarding reserved judgments
222BRecusal guidelines
222CJudge may make order restricting commencement or continuation of proceeding
222DGrounds for making section 222C order
222ETerms of section 222C order
222FProcedure and appeals relating to section 222C orders
223AAAFunctions of chief executive
223Labour Inspectors
223AFunctions of Labour Inspector
223BEnforceable undertakings
223CEnforcement of undertakings
223DLabour Inspector may issue improvement notice
223EObjection to improvement notice
223GWithdrawal of improvement notice
224Demand notice
225Objections to demand notice
226Authority to determine objection
227Withdrawal of demand notice
228Actions by Labour Inspector
229Powers of Labour Inspectors
230Entry of dwellinghouses
231Entry warrant
232Compilation of wages and time record
233Obligations of Labour Inspectors
233AObligation of Labour Inspector and department not to disclose information
233BInformation sharing
234Circumstances in which officers, directors, or agents of company liable for minimum wages and holiday pay [Repealed]
235BInfringement offences
235CInfringement notices
235DProcedural requirements for infringement notices
235EInfringement fees
235FPayment of infringement fee
235GInfringement fee and penalty not payable for the same conduct
237AAChief executive may approve forms
237AAmendments to Schedule 1A [Repealed]
237BRegulations providing for waiver, etc, of fees
237CPostponement of fees
237DReviews of decisions of Registrars concerning fees
238No contracting out
239New Schedule 3 substituted in Police Act 1958
240Consequential amendments
242Enforcement of existing individual employment contracts
243Enforcement of existing collective employment contracts
244Existing collective employment contracts and collective bargaining
245Existing procedures in relation to disputes and personal grievances
246Expiration of existing collective employment contracts
247Existing proceedings
248Existing causes of action
249Employment Tribunal
250Exercise of powers of Employment Tribunal after 31 January 2001
251Exercise of powers of Authority before close of 31 January 2001
252Exercise by Authority of powers of Tribunal after 31 January 2001
253Existing appointments
254Application, savings, and transitional provisions relating to amendments to Act
Reprint notes