Guide to Working in New Zealand

Employment Relationship Problems

If an employment problem arises at work employers and employees should firstly check the facts. They should talk to each other to try to resolve the problem, possibly involving a support person or union/association representative in the discussion. They can get information  about rights and obligations from the Ministry. If the problem can’t be resolved by talking, employees or employers can contact the Ministry, on 0800 20 90 20 where calls will be handled in a safe environment. This service is free. Problems that remain unresolved can be taken to the Employment Relations Authority or later to the Employment Court.


There are financial penalties for not complying with employment laws, of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies. An employer may be fined or prosecuted for not complying with workplace health and safety laws.