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Your health and safety duties as an employee

What are my health and safety duties as an employee?

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, s 45

As an employee you must take reasonable care for your own health safety while at work, and you must also make sure you don’t harm anyone else.

You must follow, as far as you’re reasonably able to, any reasonable instructions that your employer or supervisors give you about health and safety, and cooperate with any reasonable policies or procedures around health and safety that your employer has told you about. For example, you must use protective clothing or equipment that your employer has provided.

If you fail to comply with health and safety rules, this could lead to disciplinary action against you.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, s 33

Note: The fact that you have those responsibilities as an employee doesn’t affect or limit the health and safety duties of employers and others.

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Employment conditions and protections

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and, depending on your situation, may also be able to provide ongoing support.

“Pregnancy Rights: Your legal options during and after pregnancy” (booklet)

This booklet contains practical answers to questions about pregnancy and the law, and includes information on sexual health and consent, options after a positive pregnancy test, healthcare, education, housing and more.

Order hard copies from:

Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley

Phone (04) 499 2928

Email: publications@wclc.org.nz or visit www.communitylaw.org.nz to buy a copy or access free online

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

www.employment.govt.nz

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

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

Labour inspectors

Labour inspectors monitor and enforce minimum employment conditions. To refer a problem to a labour inspector, you contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment on:

Free phone 0800 20 90 20

Worksafe New Zealand, Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa

www.worksafe.govt.nz

Free phone: 0800 030 040

Worksafe New Zealand’s website has a range of information and publications on workplace health and safety issues.

Parental leave payments

www.ird.govt.nz/topics/paid-parental-leave

The Inland Revenue website has information on parental leave payments.

Whistle-blowing (“Protected disclosures” by employees)

www.ombudsman.govt.nz

Free phone: 0800 802 602
Email: info@ombudsman.parliament.nz

The Office of the Ombudsman provides information and guidance to employees about making a protected disclosure.

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Te Kauae Kaimahi

www.union.org.nz

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.

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Community Law Manual helps everyday people (and their advocates) help themselves. It covers ACC, housing, family law, neighbourhood life, gender and sexuality, common crimes, refugee and immigration law, Māori land and so much more. With colour-coded chapters and a comprehensive contents list, the Manual is a reliable and easy way to find answers to your legal questions.

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