Employment relationships are always changing…

Employment contracts are essential between any Employee and Employer relationship of an organization. They essentially outline the terms and conditions the job, includes pay rate, hours of work and leave entitlements.

There are employment law updates almost every year so it is important to stay on top of it within your business. We recently posted a blog about “Employment Law changes 2020” that’ll be a useful source to you.

An employment contract may not contain all the appropriate clauses. Reviewing existing terms may highlight the changes that need to be negotiated.

It is important to know, that an employer is not authorized to vary an employee’s agreement by express or implied terms there is the option of obtaining employee’s consent.

Keeping Employment agreements up to date means the written agreement can reflect reality. It is required to ensure the terms are accurate as a matter of law and it can be an easy process to keep contracts up to date if you know how. There is no need to rewrite a whole new agreement. You can simply clearly explain in written terms, the reason for the change, what it says and why the employee should agree to it.

Areas to review regularly:

  • Job description – this is an opportunity for employers to prevent employees from feeling overloaded, or mislead regarding what is expected. Most employees prefer a detailed job description. Updating job descriptions can prepare your company for future hiring, cultivating current employee productivity and ensuring long-term sustainability.
  • Terms – specifically around the grounds for termination in advance of the contracts end date.
  • Salary – this is a great opportunity to discuss your employee’s achievements. It is a good chance to set a plan moving forward, in regards to their role, salary and any other aspects they could improve on.
  • Benefits – if these are in the handbook, ask your employee to review it before signing. You can read our blog “Benefits of having an employee handbook”.

Offering and negotiating employment contracts:

Anything can be added to an employment agreement as long as the employer and employee agree to the terms contained. The terms of the agreement need to be at least the legal minimum, even if the employer and employee have agreed on them.

Areas that are useful to negotiate in good faith are –

  • Annual holidays – ensuring your employee will get at least 4 weeks and what a week looks like for them. Employees are entitled to four weeks’ annual holidays each year when they have worked for their employer for 12 months.
  • Hours of work – Many employers in New Zealand and globally are offering flexible working arrangements.
  • Whether the employee is required to work on public holidays.
  • Closedown period – Vodafone have introduced a new summer hours programme that began Monday 20th January to the end of February, allowing people to finish work from 2pm onwards on Friday afternoons. Staff who are rostered for Friday afternoons will get a full day in lieu instead. Vodafone’s objective so their workers can make the most of their extra time by picking their children up from school, having a BBQ with friends and family or escaping for a weekend getaway out of the city.
  • Notice period, in the case of dismissal, redundancy or resignation.

If this is something that you are thinking about doing or need more information on contact us on (09) 3775200