Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent community organisation offering a free, confidential and independent service of information, assistance and referral from 84 locations stretching from Northland to Invercargill.

Before you begin your new job, it’s important to read and understand your employment agreement, because this is a record of the conditions of your employment.

“We get many questions from clients who are unsure of their employment rights," says Margaret Antunovich of Citizens Advice Bureau Grey Lynn/Ponsonby. “Often it turns out that they don’t have a written, signed employment agreement. What we are seeing suggests that employers who don’t provide employment agreements are also less likely to be meeting their other obligations, for example giving their employees pay information and making PAYE deductions.

“It’s actually a legal requirement for an employer to give their employee a written copy of the employment agreement. Your agreement should specify details such as your hours of work, what your work duties will be, where you will do your work, your pay rate, leave entitlements and so on.

Margaret adds that any conditions in the agreement must meet minimum employment conditions. “For example, it can’t specify a pay rate that is below the minimum wage, or provide for less than the minimum entitlements for leave. Once the agreement has been signed, any changes to it must be agreed to by both you and your employer.

“If you think there might be a problem with your employment agreement, or you aren’t sure what you’re agreeing to, come and see us at the Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn. We can help you know your employment rights and work out what your options are if you aren’t getting what you’re entitled to."

CAB is open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm and Saturdays 11am-1pm. You could also phone them on T: 09 376 0392 or toll free on 0800 367 222, or send an email CAB also has information about employment rights on its website.