Employment relations legislation

The Employment Relations Act 2000 states that parties to an employment relationship are under a duty of good faith.

What is good faith?

Good faith applies in all aspects of an employment relationship – including bargaining, consultation, discipline, proposals of changes to employment, redundancy, dismissal and employers’ and employees’ obligations to one another.

In particular, good faith means:

  • not to do anything that is likely to mislead or deceive
  • mutual obligations of trust and confidence, i.e. acting openly, honestly and without hidden motives
  • being active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a productive relationship which is responsive and communicative, including being cooperative, respectful, raising issues in a timely manner and responsive to issues.

Good faith is often a question of circumstances, and the intentions and actions of the parties.

There are penalties for failing to comply with the duty of good faith.

Read the good faith section of the Act - Legislation website

Read the penalties section of the Act - Legislation website

Updated: September 2015

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