How will outdated employment law help New Zealand grow?

Send a “please explain” to the Government now!

The Government is considering a Bill that threatens to undo many of the gains made in employment relations over the past few decades. If passed, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2018 will not only seriously reduce employers’ ability to engage and develop staff, but will also put the brakes on business growth.


Employers with 20 employees or more will lose
the right to include trial periods in employment
Trial periods have given many employers the confidence to
take on people without experience. 80% of employers used
the 90-day trial period in the past year. This clause will
discourage New Zealand’s larger employers from doing this
and make it harder for young people to enter the workforce.


Allowing union reps access to workplaces without
any permission.
This caused issues in the past. Thankfully, employers
and unions today have mutually respectful relationships,
and we expect most unions would still provide notice
regardless of legislation. So why return the country to an
“us-vs-them”, anti-growth mentality from the 70s?


Forcing businesses to settle collective
agreements even if they don’t or can’t agree.
The right for either party to opt out of the bargaining
process is fair and equitable. Removing this right from
employers creates an uneven playing field, which is not
only unfair but also a recipe for bad agreements created
under duress.


Not allowing businesses a choice to opt out of a
multi-employer collective agreement (MECA).
This compels businesses to join a MECA against their will.
This is at odds with International Labour Organisation
conventions which support everyone’s voluntary right to
take part in collective bargaining or not. This comes at the
cost of freedom, productivity and growth.

If enough people voice their concern, the Government must listen. You may already have seen a press and billboard campaign asking the Government to “please explain” its thinking. You can add your voice by emailing them below with your concerns.
We can fix this Bill if we all act right now.

Additional actions you could take:

> Write to your local MP voicing your concerns
> Share this link with your business associates on LinkedIn   
> Find out more about your local employers’ association

Map of New Zealand


Business Central

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce

Otago-Southland Employers Association