Changes Provide a Timely Opportunity to Update Employment Agreements
The timeframe within which an employee can raise a personal grievance in respect of sexual harassment has been extended from 90 days to 12 months. This change has created an imperative for businesses to review and update their employment agreements.
Employers must update their employment agreement templates to reflect this change and it provides a good opportunity for employers to review and update their policies and procedures to ensure they reflect current legislative requirements.
Under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“Act”), all employment agreements entered into on or after 13 June 2023 must include a plain language explanation of the services available for the resolution of employment relationship problems, including a reference to the relevant personal grievance time limit. Any employment agreements entered into on or after the date the change came into force must therefore specifically reference the 12-month period for raising personal grievances relating to sexual harassment as well as the 90-day period when an employee is relying on other grounds for raising a personal grievance.
We recommend ensuring there is a “minimum standards” clause in your employment agreement templates, which means you are prepared for any changes in the law after an employment agreement is entered into. This clause should say that when the statutory minimum entitlement differs from what is provided for in the agreement, the legislature prevails.
If you have any questions about these changes or would like assistance with updating your employment agreements and policies, please get in touch with our employment team.
Latest Update: 19 June 2023