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Welcome to the Department of Labour.

This site contains basic information on laws relating to the workplace. It outlines the main rights and obligations of employers and employees.

We take you from the start of the employment relationship to the end. We also provide you with some suggestions on good practices for employment relations.

The Employment Relations Act 2000 replaced the Employment Contracts Act 1991.

The general approach of, and some terms used in, the Employment Relations Act differ from those in the Employment Contracts Act. For example:

  • the Employment Contracts Act has a contractual approach and refers to collective and individual employment contracts;
  • the Employment Relations Act has an "employment relationship" approach and refers to collective and individual employment agreements.
You can access the major sections of the site to –

We also welcome your comments and feedback.

You can go direct to information and answers to common questions specially targeted to employers, employees, unions, and those learning about employment relations. From there you can go and look at the more detailed content on the site.

Our Fact sheets are designed to give you key information quickly in a concise format. You can then go and look at the more detailed content on the site, if you need to.

The content on this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.

We welcome the opportunity to help you further. If you can’t find an answer to your question, or you want further clarification, more detailed information or guidance on any matter covered here, try a more detailed search or ask us a question.

You can access site features without using a mouse.There is a set of access keys that will take you to commonly used pages.

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Can't find what you're looking for? Use our site search found at the top right on each page of this web site.

You can search our site for any keywords you wish. You can use combinations of and , or , not , and ( ) round brackets in your search.

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The content of this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.

State sector employers and employees may be affected by some differences in the laws that apply to them (e.g. State Sector Act 1988).

The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, or for any errors or omissions.

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Material featured on this site is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated.

The Crown copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source and copyright status should be acknowledged.

The permission to reproduce Crown copyright protected material does not extend to any material on this site that is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material should be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.

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