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December 2018: Some ERA changes already in force
  • Union representatives can enter workplaces without employer consent
  • No deductions for partial strikes
  • Reinstatement (if requested by the employee) is the primary remedy for unjustified dismissal
31 January 2019: Fair Pay Working Group report
  • The Fair Pay Agreements Working Group, headed by Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ, has made recommendations on fair pay, including bargaining processes, agreements and dispute resolution where there are issues 
  • The Minister will now review the recommendations and assess the scope and design of a system of bargaining to set minimum terms and conditions of employment across industries
  • The model that the Working Group has proposed would facilitate conversations not only about fair wage rates, but about training pathways and opportunities to increase productivity and profit

1 April 2019: Employment protections for domestic violence victims and new minimum wage

Domestic violence changes
  • Victims can request short-term (two months or less) variation to employment arrangements to deal with effects of domestic violence
  • Employees can request domestic violence leave after six months’ continuous employment (up to 10 days paid leave)
  • Discrimination against victims is now a prohibited ground of discrimination
Minimum wage change
  • New minimum wage of $17.70 per hour

21 April 2019: Easter Sunday
6 May 2019: Key Employment Relations Act changes
  • Only employers with fewer than 20 employees may agree to 90-day trial period
  • Minimum rest break and meal break entitlements are prescribed
  • Increased protections for unions around membership and activities, including allowing union representatives to do union duties during work hours and employing new employees on same terms as the collective agreement for 30 days
  • Changes to restructuring rules, including “vulnerable employees” in restructuring processes apply to all sizes of employers

12 June 2018: Further Employment Relations Act changes
  • Tighter protections against discrimination for union membership and involvement

At some point this year
If you want to find out more about these upcoming changes, contact our Employment Team.

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