New Employment Legislation 2016

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill came into effect on 1 April 2016.

The aim of the bill is “to promote fairer and more productive workplaces by providing enhanced protections and benefits for both employers and employees”.

“Specifically the bill:

  • Extends parental leave and payments to more workers and increases the flexibility of the parental leave scheme through amendments to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act:
  • Provides for stronger and more effective enforcement of employment standards (such as the minimum wage and holidays entitlements) through amendments to the
    Employment Relations Act, Minimum Wage Act, Holidays Act, and Wages Protection Act:
  • Prohibits certain practices in employment relationships that lack sufficient mutuality between the parties (particularly in relation to ‘zero hours’ contracts) through amendments to the Employment Relations Act and Wages Protection Act.”


Clearer record keeping requirements

An employer must at all times keep a holiday and leave record as specified in section 81 of the Holidays Act 2003.  The new Bill has added a requirement that an employer must at all times keep a holiday and leave record showing, in the case of each employee employed by the employer: “the number of hours worked each day in a pay period and the pay for those hours”.

Good record keeping protects the employer in the case of a dispute and ensures that an employee’s entitlements are correctly met. It also assists in a smooth audit process.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a good guide for record keeping at

It offers these tips for employers:

  1. Keep updated records – employers must record details on a daily basis as required by the changes.
  2. Keep files for long enough – businesses must keep details for at least seven years.
  3. Maintain accurate information to be able to accurately calculate pay for leave or a final payment when an employee resigns.
  4. Keep a clear description of all roles to help with performance management.
  5. Ensure you supply detailed and accurate records when you outsource your payroll.

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