The employment agreement and any employer policies create the foundations for an employment relationship.


These documents are fundamental in guiding the parties through the lifecycle of employment, establishing the agreed terms and conditions, processes to follow, and the obligations that each party is bound by. A clearly written employment agreement can help reduce the risk of misunderstandings and personal grievances.

Every employee must be provided with a written employment agreement, and all employers are required to retain a signed copy of the employment agreement or the current signed terms and conditions of employment. This can be either an individual or a collective agreement.

It is vital that you use the correct type of employment agreement. There are very particular requirements that must be met for casual and fixed term agreements, and if you get these wrong your temporary employees can easily acquire permanent employment status by default. It is also important that contractors are provided with a ‘contract for services’ agreement and not an employment agreement. This type of relationship will also need to satisfy certain legal tests, otherwise a contractor could also be granted permanent employment status.

“Our team understands the requirements of the Employment Relations Act 2000, and can help your organisation prepare robust documentation for establishing and managing successful employment relationships.”

If a Labour Inspector finds an employer without copies of their employees’ signed agreements, they will give 7 days’ notice to rectify the issue. If it has not been corrected after this period the employer can be fined:

  • up to $10,000 if the employer is an individual
  • up to $20,000 if the employer is a corporation

Why risk getting it wrong? Employment legislation is constantly changing, so minimise your risk and email us to review your employment agreements today.