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good faith in employment relationships
Code of Good Faith

good faith


The Employment Relations Act 2000 introduced a number of changes to how employers, employees and unions conduct their relationships. From 1 December 2004 the Act has been amended to further promote good faith as the basis for employment relationships.

Here we set out:

  • some basic information on the Employment Relations Act 2000
  • how employment relationships are established and conducted in the Employment Relations Act 2000 environment.

Good faith

The Employment Relations Act 2000 has "good faith" as its central principle. Employers, employees and unions must deal with each other honestly and openly. Specifically, the Act:

  • promotes good employment relations and good faith behaviour, which includes mutual obligations of trust and confidence between employers, employees and unions
  • sets the environment for individual and collective employment relationships
  • sets out requirements for the negotiation and content of collective and individual employment agreements
  • provides prompt and flexible options for resolving problems in employment relationships.

There are also some specific provisions for good faith in collective bargaining.

Who needs this information?

  • Anyone who has a paid job or who employs other people in paid work
  • Both employers and employees who want to know what they can and cannot do, as well as the things they have to do, in the workplace
  • Unions and union officials and anyone involved in workplace bargaining
  • Students and teachers who want to learn about the principles of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Further information & guidance

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.


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.

The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions.


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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.


good faith in employment relationships | Code of Good Faith

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