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Different types of employment agreements and arrangements

Fixed-term agreements

What is a fixed-term agreement?

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 66

This is when you and your employer agree that your employment agreement will end on a specific expiry date or when a specific event occurs or when a specific project is completed.

When fixed-term agreements are allowed

A fixed-term agreement is allowed only if:

  • there’s a genuine reason, based on reasonable grounds, for having a fixed term (for example if you’re filling in for a permanent employee who’s on leave or you’re doing seasonal work like fruit picking), and
  • the employer tells you this reason before employing you and tells you how and when your employment will end.

If your fixed term agreement is being extended (“rolled over”) more than once, it is more likely you’re a permanent employee (see the next section, “Casual work arrangements / Identifying whether you’re a casual or permanent worker”)

Note: It won’t be a “genuine reason” if your employer uses a fixed-term agreement to exclude or limit your rights under the Employment Relations Act or the Holidays Act, or to find out whether you’re suitable for a permanent job.

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Starting and leaving a job

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal information, advice and education about employment law issues.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


The Employment website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment publishes a range of publications on employment relations and minimum rights at work.

Free phone: 0800 20 90 20, for general enquiries about employment relations, pay and holidays.

For translated employment information go to www.employment.govt.nz/starting-employment/rights-and-responsibilities/minimum-rights-of-employees-translations/#minimum

Reporting migrant exploitation


Make a complaint to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment about migrant exploitation with this online form.

If you need help completing the form or would like to speak to an interpreter, call 0800 200 088 between 8:00am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. You will be connected with an interpreter after you say the name of the language you speak.

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Te Kauae Kaimahi


Phone: (04) 385 1334
Email: info@nzctu.org.nz

The NZCTU is the umbrella body for affiliated unions covering every job and industry in New Zealand. It can provide information about which union may cover the type of work you do.

New Zealand Prostitutes Collective


A nationwide organisation run by sex workers for sex workers. They provide information and services for people who are doing sex work or thinking about doing sex work.

Phone (04) 382 8791
Mobile and media inquiries: 027 496 0700
Email: info@nzpc.org.nz

Migrant worker organisations

Union Network of Migrants – UNEMIG


Part of FIRST Union

Phone: 0800 863477

Migrant Workers Association


Email: help@migrantworkers.org.nz

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