The Code came into force on 6 May 2019 alongside many of the
other amendments under the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018, which took
effect the same day.
The purpose of the Code is to give employers and unions
guidance on their duty to act in good faith. It sets out:
- what the parties should consider during the
bargaining process and when entering into any written arrangement;
- the requirement for parties to conclude a
collective agreement unless there is a genuine reason not to, based on
- that the parties can agree to seek the
assistance of a mediator in concluding a collective agreement;
- that the parties can apply to the Authority for
facilitation in concluding a collective agreement; and
- that the parties should, wherever practicable,
indicate any concerns about perceived breaches of good faith at an early stage
to enable the other party to remedy the situation or provide an explanation.
The Code is intended to assist the Employment Relations
Authority and Employment Court in determining whether or not a union and an
employer have dealt with each other in good faith during the collective bargaining
process. Where parties can show they have followed the Code, this may be
considered to be compliance with the good faith provisions of the Act.