Research report on employment law changes released
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released a research report evaluating the short-term outcomes of
the 2011 changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Holidays Act 2003.
Key changes to the legislation included allowing all employers the option to use trial periods of up to 90 days, the
ability for employees to cash in up to one week of annual holidays, and changes to union access and problem resolution
The changes were designed to improve the operation of the labour market by achieving lower compliance costs for
employers, faster problem resolution, greater clarity and more choice and flexibility for employers and employees.
MBIE’s Research, Evaluation and Analysis manager Abby Johnston says while it’s too soon to assess the full impact of the
changes, there are indications that some of the changes are working as intended.
“The report shows that extending the use of trial periods to all employers has resulted in more employment
opportunities, with one third of employers surveyed saying the provision has led to them hiring people they otherwise
“The report also shows that changes to the Holidays Act have promoted flexibility and increased choices for employers
and employees. Ongoing advice and education for both employers and employees will improve awareness around the
amendments, which some are still getting to grips with.”
Survey results and feedback from interviews was used to inform the research report findings.
The report forms phase 2 of a two-phase evaluation of the amendments. The first phase evaluated the then-Department of
Labour’s role in implementing the legislative changes. MBIE will use these findings to inform future policy decisions.
The research report can be found here
More information on employment rights and holidays is available here