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Our guide to the concept of good faith in employment relationships and the obligations of both employers and employees.
“Good faith” is not a new notion, and it existed in New Zealand statutes long before the Employment Relations Act 2000 was enacted.
This A-Z Guide sets out where the term good faith appears in legislation that is directly relevant to employment, and, provides some useful insight into what “good faith” means in those contexts. The Employment Relations Act requires that parties to an employment relationship deal with each other in good faith. This means that the parties must behave in a way that meets their obligations of mutual trust and confidence. Additionally, the parties to an employment relationship must be active and constructive in establishing and maintaining productive workplace relationships, including that of being responsive and communicative.
The duty of good faith also extends to the relationship between an employer and an employee when bargaining for an individual employment agreement and for any matters arising under or in relation to those agreements, while they are in force.
The notion of good faith is a foundation stone of the Employment Relations Act 2000. The term appears in at least 20 sections of that Act. It is not possible, in this guide, to discuss each section in detail so only those that are important in helping to define “good faith” are mentioned.
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