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  • Writer's pictureAinsley Benefield

Employment Relations Act changes

26th June 2023


A recent change to the Employment Relations Act means that employees now have 12 months to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment (instead of the 90 day period that previously applied, and which continues to apply for other types of personal grievances). This change recognises the challenges people face when reporting sexual harassment and allows those affected by sexual harassment at work more time to consider what has happened before deciding to come forward.

Updating your employment documents

As a result, all new employment agreements entered into from 13 June 2023 need to reflect this extended timeframe for personal grievances for sexual harassment.

If we’re working with your team on a new employment agreement we will ensure this wording is included, but we also recommend you update your template employment agreement and any relevant policies or procedures. Please get in touch if you would like any support in doing so.

You do not necessarily need to update the employment agreements for existing employees, but the new timeframe will also now apply to them and you should remember to use the updated wording if you are making any changes to their employment agreement.

Prevention is better than response

It is encouraging to see this change aimed at supporting people affected by sexual harassment at work. However, what we at Hive would ultimately love to see is a world where such harm is prevented from happening in the first place. Therefore, as well as updating your employment documentation, we would encourage you to think about what your workplace is doing to prevent sexual harassment and build a safe, respectful and accessible working environment for all.

As well as policies, you might want to think about what kōrero or discussions you could have as a team, what language you use, what training or development your team or leaders may need, as well as any practical steps or safety measures you could implement or improve to prevent harm from occurring.

If you would like any support or help with this update or what it means for your organisation, please let us know and the Hive team will be happy to help.

Ngā manaakitanga

Ainsley & the Hive team


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