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Rights and Responsibilities of Employers (Part 1)

Like their employees all employers and business owners in New Zealand have rights and responsibilities. In this article we will look at some of those rights and responsibilities that an employer can expect from their employees, the laws put in place to help protect them and the organisations and government agencies who are here to help all New Zealand businesses grow and be successful.

It goes without saying that employers have the right to hire and dismiss employees so long as they are following the proper procedures. There are a number of different factors that an employer must consider when hiring new employees. To read a full list visit

Employers have the right to expect that their employees will show up on time to work and perform all of their tasks in a manner that is reasonable and inline with the health and safety procedures that govern their industry. This means that employers have a right to expect that their employees will perform these tasks so long as they are lawful, not dangerous (unless this is a part of the role) and within the scope of the employment agreement that the two parties have agreed on.

If an employee does not carry out their tasks properly, does something on the job that goes against the policy of the workplace or refuses to carry out their task then the employer has the right to take disciplinary action against the employee. the employer must follow a fair process before making the decision and then acting on it.

Following the right disciplinary process should assist the employer to work through the issue and to deal with it before it becomes bigger or impacts more widely on the workplace. It should be seen primarily as a corrective measure, aimed at preventing further misconduct.

For more information about out the disciplinary process please visit

Employers and employees have a responsibility to act in good faith towards one another and act in a reasonable manner that builds trust and confidence.

  • Employers have a responsibility to pay employees what is stated in their employment agreements and must be at least the minimum wage

  • Employers must give each employee at least 4 weeks of annual leave

  • They must give their employees the day off on 11 public holidays or give them an alternative holiday if they work, if it is a normal working day for them, and pay them at least time and a half if they work a holiday

  • Give employees a minimum of 5 days sick leave. A new Bill being brought before the house in 2021 will see this increased to 10 days if it is passed.

  • Act in good faith and in an honest manner

  • Provide a safe workplace

  • Must not make any unlawful deductions from an employee's wages.

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