The EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL reform – Where are things at?

During 2018 you will have seen various media relating to the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and associated workplace reform.

This Bill has been particularly slow in working through the parliamentary process. That has been driven not only by differing opinions within the Labour led coalition government, but also the business community expressing their concerns at the proposed changes within the Bill.

While these changes may be unpopular with many employers, should the current Bill be passed, along with any other workplace legislation, we will all have to comply with the changes and ensure our employment documentation and processes are up to date at the right time along with understanding how to practically apply the changes as they happen.


As we are seeing, the process to get a bill passed through government is long and drawn out particularly in the current political environment- this may well be positive for your business. With the bill being introduced to parliament in late January 2018, there are still several steps to occur including a further 2 readings prior to any changes coming into force. The first reading occurred at the beginning of February and has been with a select committee for some time, so any changes are still some way off……It is likely that any changes will occur around 4 months after Royal Assent (which effectively means the Bill becomes an Act of parliament) so any changes are now likely to be introduced in 2019……….if at all... (excuse my cynicism).


  • Restoration of statutory rest and meal breaks – some limited exceptions apply

  • Restriction of 90-day trial period to employers with less than 20 employees

  • Reinstatement being the primary remedy to unfair dismissal

  • Further protections for employees considered ‘vulnerable” by law

  • Various collective bargaining and union rights related changes (drop me a line for more detail)


If you would like further information on any of the above let me know and I can provide more detail, otherwise I will update you closer to the time about how any of these changes may impact your business.

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