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Extension of Time for Sexual Harassment Claims is now Law

Extension of Time for Sexual Harassment Claims is now Law

Written by:
Melissa Johnston
Gus Hardie Boys

Breaking News

The Employment Relations (Extended Time for Personal Grievance for Sexual Harassment) Amendment Bill ("the Bill") has now become law.

What does this mean for you?

The time employees have to raise a personal grievance alleging sexual harassment will be extended from 90 days to 12 months. This means you need to start thinking about making changes to employment agreement templates, policies and existing employee’s employment agreements. We recommend updating employment agreements to include the extended timeframes for new employees. For existing employees, you do not have to do anything but you can choose to issue a simple variation to their current employment agreements for consistency.

The change in law also presents a good opportunity to assess whether your current employment agreements are up to date and compliant, especially if they have not been reviewed for some time. If practical and feasible, you can offer new employment agreements to existing employees (if you have been wanting to do this). However, if you wish to utilise this time to introduce other changes to employees’ terms and conditions of employment, you will need to obtain their written consent.

If you need help with the wording for the clause or need your employment agreements reviewed to ensure they are compliant and up to date, our team would be happy to assist.

Note, the Bill will amend the Employment Relations Act 2000, specifically in terms of the mandatory form and content requirements for individual employment agreements. Failure to update your employment agreements to reflect the extended time to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment may result in a penalty being imposed on your organisation if a claim is brought by an employee or Labour Inspector.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Johnston (Partner) on (09) 306 6729 (

Hiruni Wijewardhana (Solicitor) on (09) 262 4940 (

See our Expertise pages

Employment - Employees

Employment - Employers

Written by Melissa Johnston, Hiruni Wijewardhana and Gus Hardie Boys

© McVeagh Fleming 2023

This article is published for general information purposes only.  Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice.  If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.

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