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Starting and leaving a job

Negotiating employment agreements, union rights, and how and when jobs can come to an end

What this chapter covers

This chapter explains the legal framework for employment relationships. The chapter covers:

  • Overview of employment agreements and arrangements – where your legal rights come from, and the different types of agreements and arrangements
  • Starting work and negotiating an agreement – your rights and options when you’re beginning a job, including deciding whether to join a union and come under a collective agreement, if there is one
  • Probation and trial periods – the difference between “probation” and a “trial”, and what your rights are in these situations
  • Union rights – what unions are and how they work, and the rights of unions and union members
  • Leaving or losing your job – the different ways in which a job can come to an end, including through resigning, getting fired and being made redundant
  • When you’re not an “employee”: Differences between employees, contractors and volunteers – the issue of who’s an employee (and so covered by all the employment protections) and who’s an independent contractor, and the laws governing volunteers
  • Sex workers – how sex work is treated by the law in New Zealand, including your rights as an employee or an independent contractor, your right to withdraw consent and information about discrimination and harassment.
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