Establishing and maintaining good faith relationships is the basis of the employment relations system in New Zealand, for both collective and individual arrangements.
Good faith generally involves using practical common sense and treating others in the way you would like to be treated. This means dealing with each other honestly, openly and with mutual respect.
Acting in good faith reduces the risk of conflict and problems. It is also a requirement of the Employment Relations Act.
There isn’t a single set of requirements, because every workplace is different. However, there are some key expectations of a good faith relationship:
- Employers, employees and unions should be responsive and communicative with each other.
- The employee’s employment agreement should reflect genuine discussion and negotiation.
- The employee should have access to appropriate information when the employer is making decisions that may affect his/her job.
- Problems that arise should be dealt with in a manner that is consistent with what a reasonable person would do.
Employers should have good processes and procedures for dealing with issues and should make sure that employees are aware of them. Making sure that everyone in the workplace understands what to expect is a good start.
The employer and employee must bargain in a fair way and act in good faith with each other.
See the Code of good faith in collective bargaining for more information.