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What to do when making a job offer

At this stage you need to be professional, enthusiastic and make sure your candidate fully understands expectations regarding the work, pay, benefits and hours of work. Remember, until they’ve accepted an offer of employment or started the job, nothing is official.

It can be a relief to finally get a candidate who has the right experience and who you think will be a good fit for your business.

You will want to act quickly by approaching the candidate with details on the offer. The best — and legal — way to do this is to give them an employment agreement to consider. The agreement should provide all the information they need to make a decision. You should also be ready to answer any questions they have.

Creating an employment agreement

Build easy, legal staff contracts

Build easy, legal staff contracts

The Employment Agreement Builder guides you through the steps to create an agreement for each of your employees. It also includes a sample letter offering the job to your new employee

Required paperwork

You need to provide an employment agreement for them to sign before they start work. You might also present them with a letter officially offering them the position.

If you want to use a trial period, you must:

  • include details in the employment agreement
  • ensure your new employee signs the agreement before they start work — otherwise the trial won’t be legal.

Give the candidate time to get independent advice and discuss or negotiate any parts of it with you. You must be fair in your discussions.

Once you both agree, you and your new employee must sign the employment agreement before they can start work.

If you rely on a verbal agreement only, your employee's right are still legally protected — and you, as an employer, could face penalties.

Hiring someone from overseas

Case study

Case study

What not to do

Ming runs a window installation business and wants to hire an office administrator. He remembers that not so long ago he met Trish — an administrator in another business looking for a new job. Over coffee, Ming offers her the job on the spot. She accepts his offer and resigns from her job.

Ming is legally required to provide a written employment agreement before Trish starts, but he doesn’t get around to it. Two days before she’s due to start, Ming finds someone more suitable and tells her he can’t take her on.

Outraged, Trish contacts the Employment Relations Authority. She’s told as a verbal or oral employment agreement is binding, she could bring a personal grievance case against Ming.

You should also:

  • check that they’re entitled to work in New Zealand 
  • view their visa (if necessary) with VisaView
  • make sure you’re set up with Inland Revenue to become an employer (if it’s your first time employing someone).

VisaView(external link) — Immigration New Zealand

How to register as an employer(external link) — Inland Revenue

If there’s a collective agreement at your workplace, there might be extra requirements for you to follow.

If there’s a collective agreement at your workplace, there might be extra requirements for you to follow.

For details, see the Employment New Zealand website

Collective agreements(external link) — Employment New Zealand

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