Employment Law

In common law based legal systems, the origins of modern employment law can be traced back to the English Statute of Laborers of 1351, a measure passed to control the price and mobility of labour following the Bubonic Plague (the Black Death). A nice touch was that is if you wished to leave your employer, you would be sent straight to prison. Things have come a long way since then.

New Zealand has a unique employment law environment. Before emigrating to New Zealand to work, or establishing a business in New Zealand, talk to us so that you fully understand how New Zealand employment law applies to you.

Luckily, in New Zealand you are no longer imprisoned for leaving a job without good cause! Relations between employer and employee are governed by the Employment Relations Act 2000.

The objects of the Employment Relations Act 2000 are:

  1. to build productive employment relationships through the promotion of mutual trust and confidence in all aspects of the employment environment and of the employment relationship.
    • by recognising that employment relationships must be built on good faith behaviour; and
    • by acknowledging and addressing the inherent inequality of bargaining power in employment relationships; and
    • by promoting collective bargaining; and
    • by protecting the integrity of individual choice; and
    • by promoting mediation as the primary problem-solving mechanism; and
    • by reducing the need for judicial intervention; and
  2. to promote observance in New Zealand of the principles underlying International Labour Organisation Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, and Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Bargain Collectively.

Additional resources

For more in-depth information regarding employment law please click on the links below