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Most of our clients work are private enterprises and don’t work in a unionised environment, if you do, you need to check out additional information in relation to changes where there is a collective agreement available to employees.  For now, here are the key changes that impact everyone:

It is an offence not to have a written employment agreement (should you get us to help you sort this out?)

New regulations commencing today have made a failure to provide an employee with a written employment agreement an infringement offence, for which a fee of $1,000 can be issued by a Labour Inspector.

Rest and meal breaks

There has been a return to the prescriptive provisions relating to rest and meal breaks. If an employee works eight hours, eg, he or she is entitled (as a minimum) to two 10-minute paid rest breaks and one 30-minute meal break. The timing of such breaks can be by agreement, or otherwise the meal break must be taken in the middle of the work period, and the rest breaks halfway between the start of work and the meal break and halfway between the meal break and the end of the work period. These provisions will apply regardless of what an employment agreement currently says.

Only employers engaged in national security or providing services essential to public safety are exempt from these requirements and they have to provide compensatory measures if they are unable to reach agreement with employees about the taking of breaks.

Trial periods

Trial periods will only be able to be entered into by small-to-medium-sized employers from 6 May 2019. Existing trial period provisions will be unaffected by this change.


If you need to tidy up your employment agreements, get in touch with us asap. We will make it easy and affordable for you.