Employment Agreement Builder helping employers meet employment legislation requirements

Issue 38 – May 2012

The Department of Labour's Employment Agreement Builder is making it easier for employers to stay up to date with employment relations legislation.

Since July 2011, employers have been required to keep copies on record of all employment agreements or terms and conditions of employment signed by themselves and their employees.

This means that now, more than ever before, employers must make sure they cross all the t's and dot all the i's on their employment agreements.

Having a signed employment agreement makes good business sense – it documents what was agreed between the employer and employee. And this is where the Employment Agreement Builder comes in.

The Employment Agreement Builder is an online tool that helps you draft your agreement in the correct way by showing you the clauses you must use as well as the optional clauses that may still be relevant and useful to meet your specific requirements.

The Employment Agreement Builder takes the hassle out of drafting your agreement and offers you the peace of mind of knowing that you and your employee have agreed on terms.

It's also free to use and can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.

Important facts about employment agreements

Employment agreements have been required by law since the introduction of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

All employment agreements must include the mandatory clauses, which can be found on the Department of Labour website.

If the employment arrangement includes a 90-day trial period (trial periods are optional), it must be in the written employment agreement, and agreed before employment starts.

If agreement with an employee can't be reached or the employee has not signed the agreement, as an employer you must retain a copy of an intended agreement or current terms and conditions of employment, and record the steps you have taken to put an agreement in place.

Individuals found to be non-compliant with employment relations law can be penalised with a fine up to $10,000, while bodies corporate can be fined up to $20,000 if the matter is not remedied.

Summarised from business.govt.nz's 'Business Insider' newsletter, April 2012.

Published in business and ICT.