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Employment Relation And Legislation Answers Assessment Answer



The following essay covers several aspects of employment relationship in New Zealand. The present labor law in New Zealand provides theoretical frameworks to represent the requirements and methods of employment. These theories present the ideologies and approach of employee behavior in the industrial relationship to monitor the safeguard and objectives for the employees. There are basically three frameworks that regulate the employment relationship known as system approach, action approach and conflict frame of reference. Each of the theories describes the approach with respect to the issues on politics, social, economic and international (Chen & Johnson, 2015). The essay covers the explanation of the theory of pluralism and unitarism that examines the right of employers over his employees which is different from the relationship of principal and agent. Further, the historical events, provisions of employment regulations in New Zealand and the development of the current employment law have been chalked out. Considering the present employment law under the statute and common law, written agreement by stating the requisite employment details have been made mandatory for the organizations. However, in the historic employment law, rules and norms for employment included strikes, lockouts and other unfavorable working conditions influenced by the trade unions registered with the organizations (Chang & Cooke, 2015).

Another section of the essay contains explanations and meaning of employee as per the Employment Relationship Act 2000, which states that an individual engaged in the work with employer in consideration of payments. Further, it excludes the work of person engaged with the production of films as an entertainer except the engagement of work under the employment agreement (Webber, 2016). The determination of employment relationship is also stated in the essay by considering the relevant case laws and legislations. The agreement as per the common law that regulates the employment law should provide details on the employment duration, employment terms, conditions and employment salaries. Additionally, the common law also states three significant tests i.e. control test, fourfold test and integration test to determine the relationship of employment (Norton et al., 2015). 



Employment relations have been broadened over time having multi- disciplinary foundations and influenced by social study, economics, law, psychology and such other sectors. The employment relation is concerned with the representation of interest for employment, unemployment or self-employment. There are certain theoretical frameworks of employment law that regulates the employment norms in the organizations.  These frameworks are system approach, social action approach and conflict frame of reference approach. The system approach synchronizes with the approaches of political science, sociology and international relations (McDonald, Charlesworth & Graham, 2015). The system approach has been formed to provide general of Industrial Relations and its overview greatly influences the thinking of employment relations. Initial attempt to formulate the system approach as a theoretical framework of industrial relation was created by John Dunlop wherein the system of industrial relation was defined as analytical subsystem of society of industries. Under this approach, the industrial relation rules were analyzed to overcome the conflicts and bargaining as well as the theory indentified the primary components that composed the Industrial Relation System (Law et al., 2016). The social action approach theory explains and focuses the analysis on the interaction of the operating employees strategically. This approach has been connected to the sociologist of Germany Max Weber that provides impact on psychology, human resource management and the rise in people’s rights and aspirations. The theory highlights on the actions and performance of others with respect to their past, present and future experiences and behavior in the place of work (Palmer & Pytlikova, 2015). The action theory also explains the ideology and scope as well as their differences in the issues and events of employment relations in the workplace. Lastly, theory of conflict frame of reference approach explains the reasons behind the workplace conflicts and the ways to address such issues by the employers or employees. The theory covers the analysis on radical pluralism, pluralism and unitarism with the general view between the employers and employees. Radical pluralism indicates the differences and significance of ownership of the production methods, which was influenced by Marxism (Kong et al., 2015). On the other hand, pluralism and unitarism examines the prerogative of management and rights of employees to provide a balance act in the workplace. Human resource is the most significant factor in the society and business organizations, the need of which is not being complied to the optimum level. Considering the social needs with respect to physical comfort, education, health, safety and such other basic needs are not being fulfilled for the individuals. Similarly, needs for employers at workplace are also not been considered to the great extent. In order to provide systematic regulations the legal system of New Zealand’s statute have formed several acts and theories to form the rights of employment relations. One such legal framework provides three basic theories to explain the rights and duties of employees and employers and their behavior (Chen & Johnson, 2015). As system approach provides the industrial relation to influence the thinking of employment relations whereas the second theory, action approach provides impact on the rights and objectives of the employment relations. On the other hand, reasons of conflicts are defined and constructed in the third theory i.e. conflict frame of reference approach. Each of the theory explains the importance of human behavior at the work place and basic issues in the employment relations (Dale, 2015).

Employment history of New Zealand was characterized by radical changes in the system of ideology over the short span of time. In the period of 1840- 1894 the employment relation was regulated by the common law, masters and servants act and criminal conspiracy law. During this period when the conflicts between employers and employees used to occur, the employers utilized the strategies formed in Britain. Individuals used to quit the job for better payment and better working condition. In the middle of the period, the workforce percentage in trade union in New Zealand was increased as well as protests, marches, strikes and boycotts were common for campaigning the eight- hour day working (McDonald & Thompson, 2016). On the contrary, the present theoretical framework of employment law provides impact on the rights and aims of the employment relation between employers and employees. The present law presents wider impact on the ideology of better work culture among employees, employers, trade unions. The system approach presents the norms and rules in the internal structure of the organization to provide better work system. However, during the period of 1840- 1894 employees under the trade union used practice illegitimate conspiracies for the actions. During the period the employment law in New Zealand was experiencing several issues to reform the law with respect to the increased immigration, growth of industries and trade unions, political labor movement in an organized manner (Chan, 2015). The New Zealand legislation introduced several regulations and frameworks for the benefit of employee relationship and behavior at the work place. The theory of Marxist Approach, Karl Marx’s motive was to capitalize the industrial system with respect to the employment relation by observing the intellectual behavior of the workers’ efforts. The theory focuses on the relationship between industrial capital and organizational labor to improve the working conditions of the workplace. The Marxist approach theory also provides explanation on the political economy of the industrial relations by finding out the reasons of employment conflicts and exploitation. According to the historical employment law in New Zealand, employment issues on violent acts between the employers and employees had been witnessed. In order to resolve such critical issues in New Zealand territory, the law statute had taken considerations to reform the underlying employment behavior conflicts (Baumgartner et al., 2015).

As per the Employment Relations Act 2000, employee means a person of any age employed by the entrepreneur to perform the work in exchange of consideration or reward for a service contract. The meaning of employee under this act extends to the person who works as a home worker or the person whose intention is to work in lieu of reward or consideration (Tilly, 2015). However, the definition of employee excludes a person as a volunteer who does not perform work to be paid or to earn rewards. Further, the meaning of employee does not include a work of individual work in context to the production of film whether engaged in the work of producing film as actor, performer, singer or any sort of entertainment work. Apparently, the exclusion of individual under film production does not apply if the individual is covered by an employment agreement in the written form (McDonald, Charlesworth & Graham, 2015). It means that if a person works in a production of film as per the employment agreement, then such person shall be considered as an employee within the meaning of employment relations act 2000. In order to decide the employment between employee and employer, there should be determination of real nature of connection by either the court or authority (Florida & Mellander, 2016). It is important to analyze and examine all the relevant matters to determine the employment relationship by the court or legal authority.

According to the employment agreements of New Zealand, there must be a written agreement between employer and employee and should be signed by the employee before starting the work. The agreement of the employment varies from company to company and it also depends on the job description along with the mandatory clause that should be present in all the employment agreements (Bammens, Notelaers & Van Gils, 2015). Collective agreements and individual agreements are two types of agreements on employment that covers all the employees in profession and business organization. Individual agreement of employment creates direct negotiation with the related terms and conditions between individual and employer whereas the collective agreement creates negotiation between employer and trade union that is registered with the organization. Under the employment act, there are certain common tests in law to determine the employment relationship (Groeller et al., 2015). These are control test, fourfold test and integration test. Control Test was formed to assess the presence of control of employer or manager over the employee or worker. Based on the case of Regina Vs Walker (1858), it was argued that unlike principal- agent relationship, employment relationship provides the right to direct the employee on performing the work and the ways to perform such work. On the contrary, Fourfold Test that was developed in 1947 under the decision of Privy Council based on the case of Montreal Vs Montreal Locomotive Works Ltd. This test considered the four elements like right to employ the workers, payment of considerations, power to enforce disciplinary rules and the power or right to control the actions of the employees. Lastly, the integration test, which was initiated in the case of Stevenson Jordon and Harrison, Ltd Vs MacDonald and Evans, (1952) was formed to determine the integrity of the services rendered by the employees to the business organization. In order to determine the legal employment, the employment law in New Zealand has been derived from two sources i.e. statute and common law. These statutes and common law presents provision on minimum requirement for the employees and employers in New Zealand. Currently, the significant act that regulates the employment framework is the “Employment Relation Act 2000” that states the employment behavior, requirements, benefits and conflicting issues (Rosenbaum et al., 2016).

As per the employment act, the contract on employment should disclose the information of employment duration, details of employee, terms and conditions of employment and expiry date of the contract. The agreement should be binding on both the employee and employers and to be signed by the employee before the initiation of employment with the organization. In case of suspension of the employment contract, there are no specific provisions formed in the common law or in the acts of statutes (Lu et al., 2015). However, the suspension of contract should be formed by the means of termination. Further, the contract of employment does not exist during the terms of work strike or any other abnormal condition that interrupts the business operation. The employment contract should reflect the provisions of working hours, paid leave, employee protection facilities, equality in workforce and regulation on trade union. According to the theoretical concept on employment relations, there are different levels and aspects with respect to international, national, organizational, industrial and individual (van der Geest et al., 2016). The employment relationship in the organization is a continuous process that is formed to solve the conflicts and issues between the employees and employers. The relationship between employers and workers are however influenced by the social and economical norms that provide benefits and safeguard to the employees (McDonald, Charlesworth & Graham, 2015). With respect to the Employment Contract Act 1991, there are various amendments have been made by following the factors of international trend on the employee rights, unemployment on large scale,  and economic competition. The Act states the employment issues on strikes, lockouts, and methods to resolve such issues for better and smooth working conditions. Based on the case of Bryson Vs Three Foot Six Ltd, court decided the matter on employment relationship by confirming the relevance of “all relevant maters” there must be common intention between the employers and employee. The agreement should state the intention in written and oral form as well as the ways of implementing such methods at the workplace for better workflow. The case framed the issues regarding the employment of employee Mr. Bryson as well as the payment and duration of his employment with the employer in lieu of rendering service. Therefore, it can be said that the employment relationship between the employees and employers are determined based on various significant factors that should be drafted in a written and agreed contract (Drange & Telle, 2015).


Employment relationship is one of the essential factors in the organizations to control and perform the business operations in a smooth manner. As per the employment act and common law, it is mandatory for an employee to have the employee status in the organization to get the labor benefits. It is important for the court of authority to determine the real nature of the employment relationship to segregate the status of employee and independent contractor. The court or the authority is required to consider the relevant matters on determination of employment relationship with respect to the nature of service, duration, compensation in the form of salaries and wages. There should be clear intention of employment between the employers and workers to be served in lieu of rewards or payments. There are two types of agreement considered by the courts to examine the employment relationship called as individual agreement and collective agreement. Individual agreement is created between individual employee and employer whereas collective agreement is created between registered union and employers. The employment act of New Zealand has been constructed to serve for the betterment of the employees at workplace with respect to their safety, education and work improvement. 

Reference List:

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Chan, W. K. (2015). Higher education and graduate employment in China: Challenges for sustainable development. Higher Education Policy, 28(1), 35-53.

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Drange, N., & Telle, K. (2015). Promoting integration of immigrants: Effects of free child care on child enrollment and parental employment. Labour Economics, 34, 26-38.

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Kong, A. P. H., Law, S. P., Kwan, C. C. Y., Lai, C., & Lam, V. (2015). A coding system with independent annotations of gesture forms and functions during verbal communication: Development of a Database of Speech and GEsture (DoSaGE). Journal of nonverbal behavior, 39(1), 93-111.

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