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30 Employment Relations Courses Approved

30 Employment Relations Courses Approved Under Employment Relations Act

Thirty employment relations education courses by employer, union and tertiary institutions have so far been approved under the Employment Relations Act.

The Minister of Labour, Margaret Wilson says the courses cover a wide range of skills that will help improve workplace relationships, including problem solving, communication and negotiation, as well as working together in good faith.

Employees can use leave provided by the Employment Relations Act to attend the courses.

The courses are approved by the Employment Relations Education Advisory Committee which is made up of union, employer and education sector representatives. The committee also makes recommendations to the Minister on funding from the Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund.

So far the fund has supported fifteen organisations in developing and delivery of courses.

Margaret Wilson said she was pleased with the way the programmes are developing.

“Both unions and employers are working toward increasing their skills and knowledge of employment relationship matters and to have an effective voice in bargaining, which is what the Act is there for.”


The approved courses for which union members can use their paid leave provided by the Employment Relations Act are listed on the Department of Labour’s Employment Relations Service website: www.ers.dol.govt.nz/rights/erel/courses.html. This website also provides information on how to apply to the contestable fund. The Advisory Committee has called for applications for the next round of funding, which will close on 6 August.

Attached: 1) approved courses 2) list of organisations that have received funding 3) notes on ERE
Approved courses

Post Primary Teachers Association
Employment Relations Education Development Part One
Employment Relations Education Development Part Two
Employment Relations Education Development - Information Technology

Postal Workers Union
Introduction to Delegate Training Course

Meat Union Aotearoa
Basic Delegates Course

New Zealand Merchant Service Guild
NZMSG Education Seminar

Business New Zealand
Productive Workplace Relations
Developing Good Faith Skills
Health and Safety in the Workplace

Manufacturing & Construction Works Union (M&CWU)
The Employment Relations Act: good faith & other challenges
Introduction to the role of union delegate

NZ Childcare Association
The ERA 2000 - A practical guide for childcare employers

Woolworths NZ
Delegate Coaching (Stages 1 & 2)

The union in workplace relations
Bargaining skills training
Workplace Relations & Workplace Rights

New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI member support team: new members training
Training of trainers

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO)
Effective delegates
Working with members issues
Getting members involved
Planning collective activity
Health and safety
Disciplinary issues
Negotiation skills.

National Distribution Union (NDU)
Negotiation Skills
ERE Seminar Stage Two

Engineers, Printing & Manufacturing Union (EPMU)
Level 1 Delegate Skills
Level 2 Delegate Skills
Organising Your Site

List of organisations that have received funding

Postal Workers Union

Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union

New Zealand Educational Institute


Post Primary Teachers Association

NZ Employers Federation

Southern Institute of Technology

Council of Trade Unions

NZ Printing & Manufacturing Union

NZ Childcare Association

Woolworths NZ

NZ Dairy Workers Union


Public Service Association

NZ Merchant Service Guild

Information on Employment Relations Education

There are two education mechanisms that aim to promote understanding of, and compliance with, the objectives of the Employment Relations Act 2000. The main objective of the Employment Relations Act 2000 is to build productive employment relationships through the promotion of mutual trust and confidence. A central principle of the Act is that employers, employees and unions deal with each other in good faith. In this context, the aim of employment relations education is to increase the skills and knowledge of employment matters to improve relationships in the workplace.

The first mechanism is the statutory right of eligible employees to paid employment relations education leave (ERE leave). Eligible employees are defined under section 71 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 as union members covered by, or bargaining for, collective agreements . This right commenced on 1st March 2001. Leave is only available to eligible employees undertaking courses that are approved. The purpose of this statutory approval process is to make sure courses meet the aims of the Act and are educationally sound.

The second mechanism is a contestable fund of $5 million to assist with the development and running of employment relations education courses, to be paid out over 3 years. The fund is open to any organisation wishing to provide employment relations education. However, not all courses approved for the purposes of the statutory leave entitlement will be funded. For administrative purposes these courses will also need to be approved to ensure that they meet the objectives of the Act and are educationally sound. Funding is available for wider purposes such as courses run by employers and support for the development of ERE courses. Applications are being sought for the second year’s funding of 2 million dollars, with applications closing on the 6th August 2001.

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