The Employment Contracts Act 1991: an employers charter?


  • Gordon Anderson



The Employment ~Contracts Act 1991 radically alters the system of labour law in New Zealand by moving its focus from the collective to the individual level, and the locus from the industry or occupation to the individual employing enterprise. At the same time, the Act significantly shifts the balance of bargaining power further towards employers. The Act also alters the nature of labour law in 2 significant ways: it abandons the system of registered awards enforceable in their own right and instead opts for enforcement through the law of contract, albeit with separate procedures, and it brings all employment contracts within the new regime. This article covers the nature of the changes to the bargaining system and the implications of moving to a labour law reg.ime based entirely on contract.


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