Menu
IN FORCE TODAY: KEY EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES
Employment Service Featured 400x400

Today, 6 May 2019, the last of the key employment law reforms brought about by the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 come into force.

These include the following changes:-

  • Restrictions on the use of trial periods;
  • Prescribed minimum rest and meal breaks;
  • Reasonable paid time for union delegates when representing employees;
  • The inclusion of remuneration rates in collective agreements; and
  • Continuity of employment during restructures involving contractors.

Previous newsflashes regarding Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 changes can be accessed here.

30 day rule and ‘active choice’

The reforms include the introduction of the ‘30 day rule’.  This affects employers whose workplaces have an operating union and collective agreement. Going forward, for the first 30 days of a new employee’s employment, their terms of employment must be the terms of the collective agreement if its coverage includes their role. 

Just last week, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) released the prescriptive “Active Choice” form which legislation now requires is utilized when the 30 day rule applies.

This form must be provided to any new employees and asks them to make an active choice on whether or not they wish to join the union and remain under the collective agreement past the initial 30 days of their employment.

Employers must provide the Active Choice form to relevant new employees within 10 days of them starting with the company. Employees are then to complete the form and return it back to the employer within the first 30 days of their employment. Employers must report back to the union within 10 days of the 30 day period reaching completion.

Depending on how the employee has filled out the form, the employer must:

  • Inform the union that the employee wishes to join the union and provide the union with the completed form;
  • Inform the union that the employee does not wish to join the union and provide the union with the completed form, unless the employee has indicated that they do not wish for the form to be passed on the union; or
  • Inform the union that the employee has not completed the form and the name of the employee.

At the same time that employers provide the Active Choice form to employees, they must also supply a notice setting out when the employees may complete and return the form, and what information would be passed to the union, as set out above.

If employees do join the union (which will require more than them indicating they wish to do so on the form), they will then remain on the collective agreement terms.  It is only if the employee does not choose to join the union that the terms of the individual employment agreement will apply. 

If an employer fails to provide new employees with the active choice form, the company could be fined up to $20,000. If the employer is an individual, they can be fined up to $10,000.

The form can be accessed here, along with guidance for employers on how to use it here.

Share:

RELATED PEOPLE

View All

ARTICLES RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT

View All