Employee Rights When an Undertaking is Transferred in New Zealand

Where a restructuring is proposed, an employer is obliged to consult with the other party/new employer about whether existing employees will transfer and if so, on what terms. The process the employer must follow must be set out in an employee protection provision and this must be contained in all existing employment agreements. The other party/new employer is not obliged to offer employment to existing employees, other than vulnerable employees.

Employers are obliged to consult with potentially affected employees about a decision that may impact on their continued employment. This includes providing the employees with access to information that is relevant to their continued employment. However, an employer is not obliged to consult or provide access to confidential information if there is good reason to maintain the confidentiality of the information.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in New Zealand, please contact Don Mackinnon, Partner at SBM Legal ( at
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