Employment law update

Employment law update

This article details a couple of recent employment law changes that should be taken into account in your agreements and provides a link to a full list of all mandatory information that must be included in an agreement. Proposed employment law changes that may impact your business are also outlined.

90 day trial

The scope of 90 day trials has once again been widened to include all businesses, rather than just businesses with fewer than 20 employees. If you employ 20 or more people and you want to use a trial period, now’s the time to update your agreement with a trial period clause.

There are still certain conditions that apply to the use of trial periods. In summary:

  • They can only be used for employees who have not worked for you before
  • They must be agreed with the employee in writing
  • The agreement must be signed before the employee starts work
  • If you're employing people on certain work visas, you will need to consider immigration requirements relating to the use of trial periods

Personal grievance timeframes

The timeframe for bringing a personal grievance relating to sexual harassment is now 12 months (from 13 June 2023). The timeframe for all other personal grievances remains at 90 days. These timeframes must be specified in an employment agreement.

Things an employment agreement must contain

Clcik here for a full list of what you need to include in an employment agreement.

Proposed changes

The following bills are under consideration. Keep an eye out for the outcomes of these Bills so that you can address any changes you might need to make to your terms of employment and/or employment agreements.

Employment Relations (Restraint of Trade) Amendment Bill

The Bill proposes limiting the use of restraints of trade, including the following changes:

  • Employers would not be able to use restraints of trade for low and middle income employees.
  • Higher income employees would have to be compensated for the restraint.
  • All restraints would be limited to a maximum of six months.

Employment Relations (Protection for KiwiSaver Members) Amendment Bill

This Bill proposes prohibiting employers from using a “total remuneration” clause which effectively allows the employer to deduct the employer’s compulsory Kiwisaver contribution from the employee’s pay.

Posted: Tuesday 9 January 2024

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The contents of these articles are intended to be general advice and updates on employment related matters.  This information does not constitute specialist advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Clients should seek specialist advice regarding particular matters.