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From 6 May 2019 Infringement Offence For Employers Not to Have Individual Employment Agreements Recorded in Writing

From 6 May 2019 Infringement Offence For Employers Not to Have Individual Employment Agreements Recorded in Writing

Written by:
Craig Andrews

From 6 May 2019 employers who have failed to record their individual employment agreements in writing will be liable for an infringement offence under the Employment Relations (Infringement Offences) Regulations 2019.

Section 65(1)(a) of the Employment Relations Act 2000 provides that an individual employment agreement must be in writing.  At present an employer failing to comply with the section is liable to a penalty imposed by the Employment Relations Authority which requires an employee to lodge a formal proceeding in the Employment Relations Authority.

However, a breach of the requirement to have an individual employment agreement in writing will soon become an infringement offence. Employers could face being fined an 'on-the-spot' infringement fee of $1,000.00 per employee.

A Labour Inspector can issue an infringement notice if there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is not a written agreement in place. Any disgruntled employee or person with knowledge of the breach could advise a Labour Inspector of the breach and avoid the formality of proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority.  If the Labour Inspector is satisfied that you have a number of employees without individual employment agreements, you may well face multiple fines up to $20,000.00 within a three-month period.

If you have been intending to document your individual employment agreements, but haven't yet got around to it, now is the time to get in touch with our employment law specialists:

Auckland Office    
Craig Andrews on (09) 306 6745 (    
John Burley on (09) 306 6741 (        

Albany Office    
James Turner on (09) 966 3603 (

See our Expertise page

Employment Law

© McVeagh Fleming 2019

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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