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Employment Relations Amendment Bill

Introduced on January 29 was read a first time and referred to the Education and Workforce Committee on Feb 1 strongly opposed by National. Amongst other things the Bill strengthens collective bargaining and union rights. This includes removing the requirement for a union representative to gain consent from an employer before entering a workplace. It reinstates the principle good faith requires parties to conclude a collective agreement, and repeals the provisions enabling he Employment Relations Authority to determine bargaining has concluded. Requires new employees are afforded the same terms and conditions as the applicable collective agreement relating to their work for the first 30 days of their employment. The Bill removes the exemption for employers with fewer than 20 employees from the current rules about business transfers, which will allow employees of these employers to elect to transfer to an incoming employer, restores reinstatement as the primary remedy in unjustified dismissal cases and limits trial periods to employers with fewer than 20 employees. Reported back on Sept 7 with a number of mainly technical changes. Further changes are likely in the committee stage with negotiations between the government parties ongoing. After completion of talks with NZ First, the Government signalled further changes would come in the committee stage. Second reading completed on Nov 27 with National and ACT opposed. Committee stage completed with a number of changes agreed by the Government parties on Dec 4 and the third reading stage passed on Dec 5  with National and ACT still opposed. Employment Relations Amendment Bill