Employment Rights

Everyone who works in New Zealand has the same basic rights.

Your rights as an employee include:

  • You are allowed four weeks paid annual holidays after you have worked in one place for 12 months.
  • You are allowed 11 paid public holidays if they are days when you would normally work.
  • You are allowed five days paid sick leave a year after six months in the job, and five days paid sick leave every 12 months after that.
  • You are allowed three days bereavement leave on the death of an immediate family member, or one day of leave where your employer recognises that you have suffered a bereavement (you are entitled to this after six months in the job).
  • You can choose whether to join or not to join a union.
  • You are entitled to be paid at-least the minimum wage.
  • You have the right to health and safety at work.
  • You have the right to parental leave.
  • You have the right to undertake voluntary military service discrimination and sexual harassment at work are not permitted.

An employment agreement if you belong to a union your employment agreement will be the collective employment agreement negotiated between your employer and the union. You cannot be prevented from getting a job because you are or are not a member of a union.

If you are not part of a union, you will have an individual employment agreement. By law, this must be in writing and must include: the names of the employer and employee description of the work the employee is expected to do, where the work will be done, the hours of work, wage rates or salary, a plain language explanation of services available for any employment relationship problems, a requirement to pay at least time and a half for work on a public holiday for most employees, what is known as an employment protection provision, which means that you will be protected if the business is sold or transferred or the work you do is contracted out.

Other topics that can be covered in employment agreements include the training that will be given, company rules and policies, and processes that will be followed if your employment ends.

For more information http://dol.govt.nz/er/