Union rights and access to your workplace

The Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 both provide for union involvement in workplaces. The scope of union rights under the Employment Relations Act can be dictated by the existence of an applicable collective agreement and under health and safety legislation covering worker engagement and participation.

Unions have enforceable rights in regard to:

Good faith; recognition; representation, including rights of access and to hold union meetings, rights in respect of collective bargaining and union fees, employment relations education leave, and worker participation systems for health and safety in the workplace.

Union access to the workplace

A representative of a union may enter a workplace for one or more of the following purposes.

  • Purposes related to the employment of the union’s members.
  • Purposes related to the union’s business
  • Purposes related to the health and safety of any employee on the premises who is not a member of the union if the employee requests the assistance of a representative of the union on those matters.

Dealing with union requests and access issues can be challenging, if you are unsure about how to proceed we can help.

For expert assistance please contact us on 0800 300 362 or adviceline@ema.co.nz.