PKF Francis Aickin Limited, Far North, New Zealand
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17 Jan 2019
Some employers are not aware of their basic employment obligations, based on responses to our December article on holiday pay entitlements, available at www.pkffa.co.nz .
Written employment agreements must be prepared for all employees - full or part time, casual or fixed term - and must be signed by both parties. The aim is to provide clear expectations to both parties on the role, working conditions and employment rights. A clearly drafted agreement can reduce risk of misunderstandings.
Agreements can be collective - negotiated by a registered union - or individual.
Individual employment agreements are meant to be negotiated between both parties, but in practice the prospective employee is normally provided with a standard agreement used for other employees in the organisation. A draft or ‘intended’ agreement must be provided to the prospective employee when offering a job, to provide a reasonable opportunity to get independent advice. Any points of difference can be negotiated before the final agreement is signed.
The agreement must include:
The employer must retain the signed agreement, with a copy given to the employee on request. The “intended agreement” must also be retained, even if not signed by the employee.
Minimum entitlements are provided by legislation and cannot be contracted out of, but more generous entitlements can be provided in the agreement. The minimums are:
Other obligations include providing a safe work environment, keeping complete and accurate employment records and deducting and accounting for PAYE and Kiwisaver contributions.
Further information can be found on the website https://employment.govt.nz and most accountants can assist employers interpret their legal requirements.
For more information on how we can help your business, get in touch