Mandatory written employment agreements

by | 9 Aug 2021 | Employment

Under New Zealand employment law, all employees must have a written employment agreement.

Unfortunately in my experience, it is very common for small businesses not to have written employment agreements with their employees.

An employer must provide an employee with a copy of their individual employment agreement. Failure to do so may result in a fine of $1,000 per employee.

Further, if a dispute was lodged at the Employment Relations Authority, the lack of an employment agreement could mean the employer will have to pay the employee’s legal costs even if the employer won on other matters.

As an example, I acted for an employer who was sued by his employee for unjustifiable dismissal. During the course of the hearing, it was discovered that the employer did not give the employee a written employment agreement.

At the end of the hearing, the employer was able to persuade the Authority that the employee was never dismissed. However, due to the lack of an employment agreement, the employer was still ordered to pay the employee’s legal fees.

If you have any questions about employment agreements, speak to us at Capstone Law, and we would be happy to assist you.

Kenneth Sun

Kenneth Sun

Partner & CEO

Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law.  Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.


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