Employment relations legislation

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

What is good faith?

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.

Holidays Act 2003, section 4 – Legislation website

RHolidays Act 2003, section 4A – Legislation website

Updated: September 2015

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