Tools and Research

Tools and research to help New Zealand businesses become good corporate citizens. 


The Business of Human Rights

'The Business of Human Rights' (PDF) is an overview for business on how to be good corporate citizens. You can read an Accessible version here.

'Business and Human Rights: Evolution and Acceptance' is written in partnership by the Chartered Global Management Accountant with the Global Compact Network UK. It sets out the context for the importance of human rights issues to business. It also identifies the human rights-related areas that management accountants should consider in relation to their organisations. This will help to inform short-term key actions and processes and to support long-term corporate objectives and overall reputation.


The A to Z for employers and employees is a set of guidelines aimed at ensuring equality and fairness for all job applicants regardless of characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, age, disability and religion.

Business and Human Rights Guidance for bar associations 

The International Bar Association (IBA) Business and Human Rights Working Group has published guidance for bar associations and business lawyers on the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (‘Guiding Principles’). For more details click here.

The IBA Guidance (PDF) is divided into two working documents, one for bar associations (11 pages) and the other for business lawyers practising as in-house counsel and in law firms (60 pages). 

Prioritising Vulnerable Customers

Following the Canterbury earthquakes some insurers proactively developed vulnerability criteria. Five years after the September 2010 earthquake, the Human Rights Commission surveyed New Zealand insurers (state and private) in order to understand how the industry was responding to the insurance claims of vulnerable customers.

The responses provided by insurers revealed some variation in terms of how they determined vulnerability, as well as the policies and practices which they had in place to support customers identified as vulnerable. As a result of the Commission’s survey findings it raised with the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) the possibility of drafting a set of vulnerability guidelines which could be standardised across the sector and incorporated into operational practice. 

Best practice guidelines for the prioritisation of vulnerable customers


Human rights policy template 

Your human rights policy is the public expression of your company’s commitment to respect internationally recognised human rights standards. This guide steps you through developing and implementing a human rights policy for your business. 

A guide for business – how to develop a human rights policy

Example: The New Zealand Human Rights Commission's Human Rights Policy

Business for Rule of Law Framework 

Use the Business for Rule of Law Framework to take action to respect the UN Global Compact 10 Principles, and support UN goals around development, peace and human rights

Business for Rule of Law Framework

Anti-corruption framework

Corruption is bad for society and bad for business. Here are six ways you can promote transparency and accountability in your business

Crown Entities 'Good Employer' Guidance 

The Commission has produced an extensive set of public sector 'Good Employer' tools and guidelines.

Sections covered include: 

Human Rights and State-investor Contracts 

This guidance and assessment tool for company negotiators provides practical information on respecting human rights in State-investor negotiations and contracts.

Human Rights and State-investor Contracts 

Fact sheets

Business and human rights fact sheets

The Australian Human Rights Commission have an A-Z reference you can use as a quick guide to discrimination law. 

The Human Rights and Business Country Guide 

The Danish Institute for Human Rights has produced a Human Rights and Business Country Guide which provides country-specific guidance to help companies respect human rights and raise awareness of human rights issues. 

Employment tools 

Pay equity tool 

Use the Commission’s pay and employment equity monitoring framework to do a quick health-check on your organisation’s gender statistics, policies and practices to track your progress towards gender pay equity.

Employing people 

The A to Z for employers and employees is a set of guidelines that aims to ensure equality and fairness for all job applicants regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability and religion. 

Go to the A-Z 

Making your workplace LGBTIQ+ Inclusive

The Rainbow Tick programme allows businesses and organisations to understand what they are doing well in regard to their Rainbow personnel, what they need to improve, and how to do this. Through the help of the Rainbow Tick a manager can derive the best from an employee by being a good employer.

Getting the Rainbow Tick also allows you to show your employees and the wider community that you are a progressive, inclusive and dynamic organisation that reflects the community that we serve. 

The Commission has been successful in achieving the Rainbow Tick and has been assessed as meeting the NZ Standard, gender and sexual diversity in employment. We are the first public sector agency to achieve the Rainbow Standard and the Tick. 

Other organisations and businesses who have already achieved the Tick include: Westpac, ASB, Fletcher Building, Coco-Cola Amatil, KPMG, Microsoft, PWC, Simpson Grierson, AUT, Sovereign, Publicis Loyalty, Sky City, Repromed and Russel McVeagh.


There is a strong business case for creating an inclusive workplace. Inclusive workplaces are more likely to attract high quality applicants, retain staff, enhancing employee production, enhance the brand, and legal compliance and risk mitigation.

Organisations have a unique opportunity to drive positive change and create innovative working spaces that are inclusive to gender and sexually diverse people.

Overwhelmingly, taking this sort of action in turn makes businesses a more attractive option for not only the transgender community, but all potential employees.


All organisations must do all they can do make their staff feel included in the workplace. Staff should not feel that they have to hide part of themselves for fear of discrimination.

How to go about it

Getting a Rainbow Tick certification can be a complex area to navigate and requires some resource and or commitment on the part of organisations to review its organisational policies and processes. However being a more inclusive workplace doesn't have to be a costly process eg: doubling the disability bathroom as a gender neutral bathroom and putting up visible signage.

The best strategies are those that are guided by trans / LGBTIQ employees wherever possible. All organisations can seek accreditation as compliant with the NZ Standard for Gender and Sexual Diversity in Employment and the Rainbow Tick. As well as undertaking audits, Rainbow Tick also offers policy development, training and general support and advice.

Public sector organisations - Being a good employer

The Crown Entities and the Good Employer online tool enables Crown entities to track their progress across years and compare themselves to others of the same size, type and the sector as a whole.

Reporting tools 

Tracking equality at work

In 2011 the Commission published its first Tracking Equality at Work report (PDF)

In 2015 we updated and continued the work, in a different format. The latest Tracking Equality at Work is a web-based interactive tool you can use to analyse employment outcomes on four key employment issues by sex, ethnicity, age and disability. We hope this data will provide an evidence base for action to achieve equality.

Pay and employment self-assessment and monitoring framework

If you have not undertaken a pay and employment equity review, this self-assessment tool enables you to do a quick ‘health’ check of your gender statistics, policies and practices and see what adjustment may need to be made. If you find there are gender issues that you wish to explore in greater depth you can elect to do a pay and employment equity review, using the Department of Labour’s 4-step review process.

If you have done a pay and employment equity review and response plan, it offers you the opportunity to look at some key indicators to see what progress you have made since your review and how effective your response plan has been.

Human Rights Impact Assessment 

This resource, developed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, provides guidance and practical tools for conducting commissioning, reviewing or monitoring human rights impact assessments of business projects and activities.

Read the guidance and toolbox here

Human Rights Compliance Assessment 

The Human Rights Compliance Assessment (HRCA) is a tool designed to assess and improve the human rights performance of companies.

The HRCA covers all internationally recognized human rights and their impact on stakeholders, including employees, local communities, customers and host governments.

Human Rights Compliance Assessment

Human Rights Indicators for Business

Children's Rights in Impact Assessments 

This tool provides guidance for companies on assessing their policies and processes as they relate to the responsibility to respect and commitment to support children’s rights.

The tool can be used to:

  • Examine company policies and processes to determine whether they effectively address potential or actual impacts on children’s rights.
  • Integrate children’s rights criteria into wider social, environmental and human rights impact assessments.
  • Carry out a stand-alone child rights impact assessment.
  • Find guidance on specific actions a company can take to address identified risks or opportunities.

The Global Compact Self-Assessment Tool is designed for use by all companies who are committed to upholding social and environmental standards in their operations.

Use the Global Compact Self Assessment Tool to test your company's performance on all ten UN Global Compact principles and how well these issues are managed.

The Global Compact Self-Assessment tool

Integrating human rights into environmental, social, and health assessments

The Danish Institute for Human Rights has developed a guide for the Oil and Gas industry on integrating human rights into environmental, social and health impact assessments (ESHIAs).

Introducing the Guiding Principles that every business needs to know about

Introducing the Guiding Principles that every business needs to know about

Introducing the Guiding Principles that every New Zealand business needs to know about.

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Get started with the Guiding Principles on human rights

Get started with the Guiding Principles on human rights

The Guiding Principles will help your business to become a good corporate citizen. Here’s how to bring the Guiding Principles into your business.

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Specific advice for the business practices of Crown Entities

Specific advice for the business practices of Crown Entities

The Commission monitors Crown entities’ good employer policies. Here is some EEO good employer guidance.

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Tracking Equality at Work

Tracking Equality at Work

This interactive webtool looks beyond the basic employment data to illustrate where New Zealand sits in terms of labour force participation.

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Census of Women’s Participation

The Census looks at how women fare in many areas of professional and public life.

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Pay Equity Tool

The Human Rights Commission’s pay and employment equity monitoring framework provides your organisation with an opportunity to take part in this self-assessment and monitoring framework.

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Crown Entities: Ageing Workforce Survey

In September 2014 the Commission in partnership with The Office for Senior Citizens, OCG Consulting and Lonergan Research Ltd conducted an ageing workforce survey with Crown entities.

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Valuing Older Workers

Retaining older workers makes good business sense. The guide, Valuing Experience: a practical guide to recruiting and retaining older workers, provides information both on older worker’s rights and responsibilities and tips for employers.

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Breaking through - Young people at work

Youth employment is a major concern across New Zealand according to the findings of the National Conversation about Work reported by the Human Rights Commission in 2010. Breaking through - Young people at work aims to inform and inspire, and provide practical advice to employers on how young people can be employed. Every business is different and will have their own ideas and opportunities for action.

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More info

More info

Links and resources for more detail on equal employment opportunities and work.

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Crown Entities & the Good Employer

Crown Entities & the Good Employer

The "Crown Entities and the Good Employer" web application allows Crown entities to track their EEO progress.

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