Updating Employment Contracts Nz

Updating Employment Contracts in NZ: What Employers Need to Know

As an employer, keeping your employment contracts up-to-date is crucial for the smooth running of your business. To ensure that your employment agreements are both legally compliant and fair to your employees, it is necessary to review these documents regularly. In this article, we discuss the importance of updating employment contracts in NZ and what you need to know as an employer.

Why Update Employment Contracts in NZ?

The Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) governs employment relationships in New Zealand. This act sets out the minimum legal requirements that must be met by employers when entering into an employment agreement with an employee. An employment agreement must also include terms that are consistent with the principles of good faith, which means that both parties should be open and honest in their dealings with each other.

As laws and regulations change over time, it is essential to update your employment contracts to ensure that you are complying with the latest standards. For example, in May 2019, the government introduced the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2018. This act requires employers to provide paid leave to employees affected by domestic violence and to provide flexible working arrangements.

Another reason to update your employment contracts is to ensure that they are fair and consistent with your company`s policies and procedures. If you`ve recently made changes to these policies, then it is essential to update employment contracts to reflect these changes.

What Should Be Included in an Employment Contract in NZ?

An employment contract in NZ should include the following:

1. A statement that outlines the position that the employee is being employed for, their job title, and a brief overview of their duties.

2. The terms of employment, including the start date of employment, the type of employment (e.g. permanent or temporary), and the hours that the employee is required to work.

3. The remuneration that the employee is entitled to, including the base salary or wage, any bonus payments, and the frequency of payment.

4. Leave entitlements, including annual leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, and any other leave entitlements that the employee is entitled to.

5. Termination provisions, including any notice periods that must be given by either party and the reasons for which employment may be terminated.

In addition to these essential elements, employers may also wish to include other provisions, such as flexible working arrangements, confidentiality agreements, non-compete clauses, and intellectual property clauses.

Updating Employment Contracts in NZ: What Employers Need to Know

When updating employment contracts in NZ, employers need to ensure that they are complying with the latest laws and regulations. Employers should also ensure that any changes made to contracts are reasonable and do not disadvantage employees.

Employers should discuss any proposed changes to employment contracts with their employees and provide them with a copy of the updated agreement. If an employee does not agree to the changes, then the employer may need to negotiate or seek legal advice.

Employers should also keep records of all employment agreements and any changes made to these agreements. This ensures that employers can provide evidence of compliance with employment laws and regulations if required.


Updating employment contracts is vital for employers to ensure that they are complying with the latest laws and regulations and that their employees are being treated fairly. Employers should review employment contracts regularly and ensure that any changes made are reasonable and benefit both the employer and employee. By doing this, employers can protect their business and maintain a positive relationship with their employees.