For Employees

Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“the Act”) defines “employee”.  It includes “a person intending to work”.  Section 5 specifies that a “person intending to work” is a person who has been “offered, and accepted, work as an employee”, i.e. an employee who has been hired, who has not yet commenced work.

Provided that an offer of employment has been made, and accepted, that employee is a “person intending to work” whether or not they have signed an employment agreement.

That employee has many of the same protections as an employee who has commenced work, and also some obligations.  Should they decide not to commence work, they may have to provide a period of notice to their employer.  However, the employer cannot withdraw an offer of employment once it has been accepted.  To do so would run the risk of a personal grievance being raised by the employee.

An employee who does not have an agreement prior to beginning work may then bargain on each and every point in the agreement, when that it presented after commencement of employment.  The employer and employee may then negotiate over the terms until they come to agreement.

It is mandatory that a signed employment agreement is held on file by the employer for each and every employee.  This will include casual, part-time, fixed term and permanent employees.

Employment Agreements – An employer must allow an employee to take away an employment agreement, and to seek advice on its terms prior to signing the agreement.  We are able to review an employment agreement for a very reasonable fee, and to provide advice on any areas of concern or any areas that require clarification.

Fixed term and casual agreements both have specific contractual requirements and we recommend that these are reviewed professionally before being signed.  Failure to do so could render certain terms of your contract invalid. 

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