Employment Law Updates

Holidays Act Reforms

 Government announced last week that it is intending to publish an a ‘exposure draft of a Bill’ in September 2024 as a start to reforming the Holidays Act.  There will still be a public consultation as part of Select Committee procedures when the full Bill reaches that stage.

The indications are that the exposure draft will include proposals to;

  • Review amount of sick leave entitlements part time staff could be entitled to
  • Moving to an accrual system for annual holidays
  • Introducing criteria for when the pay as you go option could be used for annual holidays

 We will be keeping an eye for the exposure Bill and further update as information becomes available.


Employment Relations (Protection for KiwiSaver Members) Amendment Bill

The Select Committee report is back for this Bill which was to allow employees to raise a personal grievance if their employment had been adversely affected by being a member of a KiwiSaver scheme.

 The report back states that the majority of the committee do not agree that this Bill should be passed.  The concerns from the parties included the risk of increasing uncertainty for employers if new grounds for personal grievances were added, risks of employment relationships being negatively impacted and a lack of evidence of real benefits to employees.

The report includes recommended changes to the wording of the Bill if it was to proceed.    It now awaits a second reading to see what of the Committees report is accepted. 


Employment Relations (Restraint of Trade) Amendment Bill

The Select Committee report is also back for this Bill which was to prohibit employees who earn less than three times the minimum wage from being subject to restraint of trade provisions in employment agreements.  The Bill also proposed that if a restraint of trade was permissible that this should be additionally compensated for.

The Select Committee for this Bill has recommended by majority that this Bill does not proceed.   The National Party view was that unreasonable restraints are already unenforceable by law and that the Bill is trying to address inequity issues rather than legal ones.  The ACT party view was that  the Bill could discourage entrepreneurship and disproportionately favour larger businesses.  The Labour Party remain in support of the Bill.

This Bill also awaits a second reading.