The Law for Employees

Staff Protection

1. Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 outlines how employers are responsible for making sure that the work carried out for them is safe and healthy. This law aims to prevent harm to any employees while they are at work. It requires employers to ensure that employees work in a safe and healthy environment. The Act was amended under the Health and Safety Employment Amendment Act 2002 that came into affect 5 May 2003.

  • Provide all staff with a safe workplace.
  • Identify and control hazards in the workplace.
  • Train and supervise all staff.
  • Keep your staff informed and involve them in Health and Safety processes.
  • Record all accidents and record all serious injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH).

2. The Employment Relationship Act 2000

This Act sets out basic rules when offering employment to your new employees. It recognises that good employment relations are built on good faith behaviour. It promotes collective bargaining through unions but also protects the rights of individuals who choose not to join a union and who wish to negotiate their own individual employment agreement.

You Need Employment Agreements

What Is An Employment Agreement?
An employment agreement is a document that an employer and employee signs, setting forth the terms of their working relationship. It clearly describes what the employee has to do for the employer (for the job) and what the employer has to do for the employee (the salary paid).

The agreement will also address a number of other issues.

When an Employer Hires an Employee
When an employer offers an applicant a job, the Act requires the employer to:

  • Provide them with a copy of the employment agreement.
  • Advise them that they are able to seek independent advice about the agreement before they sign it.
  • Give them a reasonable amount of time to get that advice.
  • Ensure that the bargaining is carried out fairly.

The final employment agreement has to be in writing to be enforceable.