Resources for Workers 

All employees must meet a minimum set of responsibilities to their employer. 

Employees need to show to their work on the day and time that they agreed to with their employer. They can only be absent from their work for legitimate reasons which include, being sick, in bereavement or needing to attend jury duty. If an employee does not show up or contact their employer when they know they will be unable to work they may face disciplinary actions.   

 

Employees are required to follow all legal and reasonable requests from their employer that are within the scope of their employment agreement and does not unnecessarily endanger their life or those of other people. This goes for any property belonging to the employer. 

Employees must exercise reasonable care  and good work ethics when carrying out their job. failure to do so may result in harm to others or the employer taking action against them. Employees are also expected to behave in a reasonable matter while on the job. This can mean that there are times outside of work that this is still expected of an employee.  

Employers also have an obligation to all of their workers to ensure they are given the minimum working rights. These include but are not limited to:

 

  • Four weeks’ paid annual holiday per year

  • Eleven public holidays per year

  • Payment of time and a half for working on public holidays

  • Five days’ paid sick leave per annum after first 6 months, and 15 days can be carried over to a maximum of 20 days

  • Three days’ paid bereavement leave for certain family members, one day for other people

  • Rest and meal breaks must be provided - Rest break must be paid

  • Relevant minimum wage must be paid

Visit here for more depth information about your minimum rights visit.  

Below is a list of government and non-profit organisations who support workers to meet their minimum rights.

 

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The Human Rights Commission (Te Kāhui Tika Tangata) is the national human rights institution (NHRI) for New Zealand. Their primary goal is to advocate for and promote human rights for all people living in New Zealander. This includes advising on equal employment opportunities, monitoring and reporting on compliance of  international human rights instruments and providing legal representation. This work covers a wide range of areas including race relations, indigenous rights, gender identity, social and economic rights as well working for women's rights. The Commission's functions include providing a dispute resolution service for complaints of unlawful discrimination, and racial or sexual harassment.

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Employment New Zealand is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). They offer practical, operational and best practice employment information that will help employees and employers understand their minimum rights and obligations. The site offers easy to understand legislation as well as examples of different employment situations to help both employees and employers make decisions that affect the working relationship. 

 

The site also offers access to two services; Labour Inspectorates who ensure that minimum employment standards are met in the workplace and Employment Mediation Services which provides a service where an employment relationship problem exists between employers and employees.

If you are a migrant worker you have the same rights as New Zealand workers, and it is a crime for employers to exploit you. Immigration New Zealand can help migrants who are being exploited, bullied, are threatened with harm or have their wages or passports kept from them.

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WorkSafe is New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator, who are working to lift health and safety performance, supporting New Zealanders to return home from work healthy and safe. Their three main areas of focus are regulation, harm prevention and system leadership.  This is achieved by working collaboratively with businesses, undertakings, workers and their representatives to embed and promote good work health and safety practices.

 

Safe workplaces are the right of all workers and by Influencing attitudes and behaviours Worksafe is working towards improving health and safety risk management in the work environment.

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The Young Workers Resource Centre - Whare Kaimahi Rangatahi (YWRC) is a not for profit organisation which offers free support to our most exploited group of people, those under 35 years of age. YWRC also delivers short workshops designed for people who are in the early stages of their employment or about to enter into the workforce. They believe in helping young people to become empowered to make decisions for themselves.

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Community Law are lawyers and community workers who offer free legal help for all sorts of problems. With the aim of ensuring all people in Aotearoa have access to justice and real equality, Community law will listen to you carefully and find a solution no matter how little money you may have. They cover the whole span of the country from Kaitāia to Rēkohu (the Chathams). They also offer easy-to-read information, community workshops and one-on-one legal help. Check out their website to see if you are eligible for their service.

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United Network of Migrants

The Union Network of Migrants (Unemig) is a migrant led, non-profit and non-sectarian network that aims to protect the rights and welfare of migrants and those people living in New Zealand who are considered as non-citizens. They provide employment relations advice and represent members who face discrimination, bullying or are otherwise disadvantaged in their work. 

 

Unemig also provides advice on immigration, human rights and economic trends that impact their employment status. 

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Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand campaigns on behalf of all workers to be paid a minimum of the living wage. A living wage is defined as the minimum amount needed to allow a working person to meet their basic needs which include food, housing, clothing, transportation, childcare plus other needs and activities which would allow anyone to fully participate in society. 

The Living Wage Movement is not aligned to any political party but seeks to influence those who have the power to change the lives of workers and their families.