Changes to Employment Relations Amendment Bill

Posted by Shelley Eden on March 21 2019 in News

Employment Relations Amendment Bill passes second reading

Last year we wrote an article about proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (Click here). The Bill passed its second reading in Parliament and came into force in December.

Unionised employers should be happy – their submissions to the Select Committee have resulted in small but important changes in some of their key areas of concern – principally union access to worksites, and requirements to conclude Multi-Employer Collective Agreements (known as MECAs)

And for all employers, the New Year will see many employment agreement templates having to be reviewed (and a headcount done for SMEs!), as trial provisions become available only for employers with 19 employees or less.

The changes include:

  • clarification that employers will not be required to conclude a MECA where there are reasonable grounds to refuse;
  • clarification around provision of employment information to unions
  • clarification regarding paid time for union delegates to undertake union activities
  • removal of references to pay ranges, so that collective agreements must either include minimum or actual remuneration rates as well as an indication about how these may change during the term
  • a requirement that unions seek consent before entering workplaces without a collective agreement

Some of the changes came into force immediately, with the balance applying from 6 May 2019.  We will report further on these soon.

If you would like more information regarding the above, or have any questions, please contact us.

Shelley Eden, Partner Contact Shelley on +64 9 300 8756 or

Tony Sung, Solicitor Contact Tony on +64 9 300 8766 or 

This paper gives a general overview of the topics covered and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.