What Are the Minimum Rights for Employees in New Zealand?


Employees retain certain rights in New Zealand, with these rights being designed to ensure all workplaces remain fair. Every employee in the country needs to understand the rules as well as when and how they apply. In addition, workers must understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. These laws cover areas such as the employment contract in NZ and workplace bullying in NZ.


Businesses are required to pay employees the agreed-upon wage.

An employer remains responsible for ensuring the workplace is safe at all times.

Workers need to be provided with a written copy of their employment contract in NZ regardless of their work status, and this contract needs to lay out the terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions of an employment contract are required to meet or exceed the minimum rights as established by law.

Employees are to be provided with a minimum of four weeks of paid leave each year and 11 paid holidays.

When employees are required to work on a public holiday, they are entitled to payment of time and a half.

Each employee, after working for a company for six months, receives five days paid sick leave each year. Fifteen days may be carried over from year to year, but an employee may never have more than 20 sick days per annum.

Minimum wage must be paid to all employees, and overtime must be paid at the minimum wage per hour.

Employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks with rest breaks being paid time on the clock.

Workers must be allowed to serve on a jury when required, yet employers are not required to pay them for any time missed from work for this purpose.

Bereavement leave is required.

Employers must provide parental leave up to 52 weeks.



Workers must care out their duties with care and competence.

Employees must comply with any conditions laid out in their visa and apply for a variation in conditions if they wish to change them.


If there is any confusion regarding your rights and responsibilities and the rules that apply to employers, contact us at Employment Law Training (www.elt.co.nz). Everyone deserves to be treated fairly in the workplace, and New Zealand employment law ensures this. In order to prevent workplace disputes make sure these rights and rules are understood by all and promote an amicable work environment.

Resolving Workplace Disputes Through Employment Law in New Zealand


Individuals spend a great deal of time at work. As a result, conflicts may arise between team members, and employers need to be prepared for this. Employment advice in NZ can be of great help in determining adequate conflict resolution procedures and helps employers figure out how to avoid workplace disputes where possible.

Why Conflicts Arise

Certain individuals lack the relationship skills needed to work closely with others. They often feel they know best in any situation and fail to acknowledge input from others, or they may simply have a personality that doesn’t allow them to work with others. Training may be inadequate, or certain employees may not do well with change. Management style often comes into play in workplace disputes also. Company law training can help to prevent disputes before they arise, thus this is an option every business should consider.

Stop Disputes Before They Start

It’s best to prevent disputes when possible. When an employer waits until there is a conflict, he or she finds that more work is involved in the process. Make certain all employees share the same values as they relate to the company, the same purpose, and the same identity. This needs to be done when the business is first established and must be addressed regularly. One suggestion is to bring employees together at a set time, possibly twice a year, and review these three shared items to keep everyone focused and grounded.

Putting A Conflict Resolution Policy Into Place

In the event a dispute does arise, employees need to attempt to resolve the issue without outside interference. When this isn’t possible, mediation may be required and, if this does not help end the conflict, the Employment Relations Authority may be called in. The last step is to apply to the Employment Court, yet most businesses don’t want to see a conflict go this far. To avoid this, intervene quickly and remind the employees of the team norms. Find a way to reach an agreement between the two parties, taking each person’s point of view into consideration.

If you find you are struggling to resolve workplace disputes, call on Employment Law Training (www.elt.co.nz) for help. Employment law in NZ is their specialty, and they can assist you in establishing conflict management procedures for employees and provide employment law training for supervisors and HR professionals. With their help, you can get your organisation back on track in very little time.

Don’t Put Your Business at Risk when Hiring Staff


The hiring process is the biggest business risk yet very fundamental in every organization. It plays a significant role in determining the success of the business. Employee under-performance can cost the business in terms of time and finances. Additionally, research has found that the hiring process affects employee morale and consequently the performance.

Business managers should therefore be adept in issues that may affect the hiring process. It is every business manager’s desire to assemble the best team to enable smooth running and to realize the full potential of the organization. This page will give business owners of New Zealand insights on how best to undertake the hiring process and the much needed legal advice involved in the recruitment process.


Tips on getting the right employees

The recruitment process is affected by a number of factors. For example: the method of selection, the capabilities of the selection panel, the job description, demographic characteristics of the people involved, the legal process and financial ability of the company among many other issues. This is why this process takes long because it requires careful review.


The first step towards acquiring the right workforce involves planning the selection process. This includes formulation of an appropriate job description that can be easily understood by all parties. All legal aspects of recruitment should be taken into consideration during this period hence the need for a legal advisor.

Define a method of selection that suits your type of business. Interviews are the most common selection process used by most organizations. Others use aptitude or personality tests, work samples, presentations or a combination of several methods. Whatever method selected should give an understanding of the employees past performance and cover the entire essential functions of the organization.

In the case of interviews, training of the interviewers is a key step in order to harmonize their understanding and expectations of the recruitment process. The business owner needs to be aware of common biases encountered during the interview process and mitigate them effectively. The selection criteria should be clear to both the interviewer and the applicant.

Take into account biases that might affect the selection process and manage them proactively. Sociologists also posit that interpersonal dynamics can significantly affect the hiring process. Seeking out commonalities in knowledge, experience, and interests is typically the first thing two people do upon meeting (Gigone, Daniel and Reid Hastie. 1993. “The Common Knowledge Effect: Information Sharing and Group Judgment”). So interviewers might tend towards applicants with similarities to them.

The selection process should be clearly structured to yield the best results because it establishes a standardized process for evaluation. Posthuma, R. A., Morgeson, F. P., & Campion, M. A. in 2002 in their study “Beyond employment interview validity: A comprehensive narrative review of recent research and trends over time” concluded that adding structure to the interview process enhances the validity and reliability of interviewer evaluations.


Checking references

It is good practice to check an employee’s references because the process involves a lot of unknown people. This especially is important prior to confirmation of an offer for employment. These references may include references from former employers, criminal records, practicing licenses, immigration status or personal testimonies of character.

This provides the character evaluation of an individual and informs the decisions to hire depending on the requirements of the business. The process of obtaining such information is guided by several employment acts.


Some of the basic employment acts NZ include;

Under the coveted Employment Act 2000 (Section 120), the employer has no legal obligation give a reference for an employee. However, in the case of dismissal, the employer is required by law to provide reasons for dismissal 60 days after the dismissal date. Upon request, the employer should issue the statement within 14 days.

The Privacy Act of 1993 also requires that employers seek consent of the applicant before accessing their personal records from relevant authorities. The employer may ask for an applicant’s criminal record, if that individual fills in the Ministry of Justice’s form (Priv/F2) in addition to section 1 in the document which authorizes third party information exchange.

The Immigration Act 2009 also prohibits the employment of persons that are not eligible work in Newzealand. The information can be verified through the online database (VisaView). Negligence of this precaution may also lead to major legal implications that might have serious ramifications for the business.

Employment Law Training (ELT) offers comprehensive employment law Wellington advice through courses and seminars and in-company training of staff. The courses can be tailored to suit each business setup.

Integrating new employees

The new staff should be able to fit well with the existing team to realize the company’s goal. The business owner can involve qualified personnel to train and manage the workforce to properly understand their roles. This is especially necessary for entry level jobs where employees have no previous work experience.

The new employees must be carefully assimilated into the work culture of the organization. This process includes training on rights,responsibilities and procedures for employee dispute resolution. ELT has experienced professionals who can deliver courses and advice on appropriate company policy that takes into account the legal system in nz. The staff will be educated on ways in which their actions might put the business at risk.


Best decision to save your business

Employment Law Training has for years offered top employment advice NZ that has saved organizations from taking employment risks. We understand that the right information enables clients make the right choice. We provide employment law training for employers. The training is structured in line with National Labour law led top employment law experts. 

Training courses are constantly updated and tailored to fit requirements of different businesses. We also advice on how to effectively improve your training budget and deliver the message comprehensively. Our services are available throughout New Zealand.

Contact us for further information or to book an in-house training session. For a long time now,we have provided assistance to clients across the board and we guarantee that your interactions with us at whatever level shall always be productive and skewed toward getting you what you need in the long term.