Employment Relations Act Changes – Collective Agreements 30-Day Rule

Acts / 22 May 2019
Employment Relations Act Changes – Collective Agreements 30-Day Rule

In our recent article, we highlighted some changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 in respect of unions and collective agreements that will come into effect after 6 May 2019.

An important change that employers with collective agreements should be aware of is the restoration of the 30-day rule.

30-Day Rule
Where a collective agreement is in place, all new employees hired on or after 6 May 2019 must be employed on the terms of the collective agreement which covers their role (irrespective of when the collective agreement came into force) for the first 30 days of their employment.

Additionally, employers must provide the employee within their first 10 days of employment, with an approved “active choice form”. The employee must complete this form to notify their employer whether they intend to join a union or not. This form must be returned to the employer before the end of their first 30 days of employment. More information on active choice forms and your obligations around notification where the employee elects to join a union can be found here.

Following the first 30 days:

  • If the employee has joined a union, they will be employed under the relevant collective agreement, and any additional individual terms agreed (that are not inconsistent with the collective agreement); and
  • If the employee has not elected to join a union, they can be employed under an individual employment agreement.

If you have any concerns or queries about the changes around unions, bargaining and collective agreements, please contact our team. We can also provide you with further guidance on how to practically manage this 30-day rule for your business and provide strategic advice on how to negotiate terms of an individual employment agreement.

Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law and health and safety topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.

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