New Zealand’s Employment Court has ruled that an employer must allow its 200 employees to return to their jobs on day shifts they would have been rostered to work if the freezing works had not illegally locked them out (refusing employees the ability to work) during collective bargaining: NZ Meat Workers & Related Trades Union INC v AFFCO LTD  NZEmpC 7. In November 2015, the Court ruled that the employer’s lock-out of its employees at its plants, who had refused to sign individual contracts earlier in the year, was illegal and this most recent decision compels the employer to comply with it.
It was also said that the employer had breached the law by not acting in good faith while collective bargaining was ongoing. Both employers and employees are subject to a mutual statutory obligation to observe “good faith” in all aspects of their employment relationship. As part of the obligations of good faith, parties to an employment relationship are required to be “active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a productive employment relationship in which the parties are, among other things, responsive and communicative”.