Employment Relations Amendment Act has come into force

Employment Relations Amendment Act has come into force

March 9, 2015

The Employment Relations Amendment Act has come into force from the 6th of March

Here are some of the most significant changes: 

  • Part 6A of the ERA was introduced to ensure continuity of work for employees in industries where restructuring is common. The amendment of part 6A removes this protection for staff in small to medium sized businesses.
  • New employees no longer come within the provisions of the collective agreement in their first 30 days. This may result in offering new employees pay and conditions less than that contained in the collective, further undermining collective bargaining and freedom of association. It also will disadvantage young people who are considered more vulnerable at the start of employment.
  • Enables employers to walk away from collective bargaining. Research undertaken for the Taskforce on Pay and Employment Equity reported that unions contribute positively to gender equity by narrowing pay dispersion, improving pay at the bottom of the pay distribution, improving minimum standards and engaging in equality bargaining.
  • Any worker can request flexible work and that the employer must consider within one month and if declined, give reasons.
  • Changes to the right to a tea break are open to abuse – need to check what your entitlements are and monitor use of ‘flagging’ the tea break.

Dig Deeper:

Read Radio New Zealand’s story about the Act here.

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue

Dr Blue is committed to progressing human rights and issues of equity, particularly those that affect equal employment opportunities.

Dr Blue also has a strong commitment to advancing the participation of women in society and is the Commission's lead on stopping violence against women.

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