Law change round-up

Law change round-up

A new government means some changes to laws. We've summarised some of the important updates for small businesses.

90-day trial periods

When: From 23 December 2023

What: All employers in New Zealand, no matter their size, are now able to use 90-day trial periods. Previously, they only applied to employers with fewer than 20 employees. The trial periods are now available to all employers.

Why: Provides employers with greater confidence when hiring new employees.

What you need to do: A trial period must be agreed to by the employer and the employee in writing, and in good faith, before the employee starts work, as part of their employment agreement.

The extension of 90-day trials will not affect other aspects of employment relations, such as the requirement to act in good faith, or worker protections regarding pay, conditions, leave, and health and safety.

If you’re hiring people on certain work visas, you will also need to consider any immigration requirements relating to the use of trial periods.

Trial periods(external link) — Employment New Zealand

Employment Agreement Builder(external link)

Repeal of Fair Pay Agreements legislation

When: From 20 December 2023

What: The Fair Pay Agreements (FPA) Act has been repealed. Rights and obligations under other employment legislation still apply. Employers, unions, and employees are encouraged to work together to agree suitable employment terms. 

What you need to do: If your organisation currently holds any personal information collected for the purpose of the Fair Pay Agreement activities, including bargaining, it must now be disposed of in line with the privacy laws. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner explains how you can do this.

Disposing of information and documents safely(external link) — Office of the Privacy Commissioner

The repeal of fair pay agreements legislation(external link) — Employment New Zealand

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has more information on fair pay agreements.

Fair Pay Agreements legislation(external link) — Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

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