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There are several types of employment in New Zealand with the main ones being permanent (full- time or part-time, fixed term (full-time or part-time) or casual.

Permanent (either full-time & part-time)
This is the most common type of employee. Permanent employees have a full set of employment rights and responsibilities. Employees must meet certain criteria to qualify for parental leave, parental leave payments, annual holidays, sick leave, and bereavement leave. Often the employee must work for 6 (sick leave and bereavement leave) to 12 months (parental leave and annual leave) before qualifying for those entitlements. No time limit or otherwise on their employment contract. It carries on until you as the employee or you as the employer terminates the contract.

Fixed-Term Employees
A Fixed term employee is treated the same as permanent staff in term of employment rights and obligations. The fixed term means that they are employed by your business for a specified period. Some common reasons for this are to replace someone who is on parental leave or to work on a particular project. There must be a genuine reason for a fixed term period and the employee needs to be told of this reason.

If you, as an employer want to dismiss a fixed-term employee before the specified term is up, then
there must be a legal reason for the dismissal, e.g., serious misconduct etc)

Casual Employees
There is no set legal definition of what a ‘casual employee’ is, but it generally refers to where the employee does not have any guaranteed hours and no ongoing expectation of employment. Employment rights and responsibilities still apply to casual employees, but the way annual leave and sick leave is applied can vary.

Every time a casual employee accepts an offer of work, it is treated as a new period of employment
and this must be made clear to them in their employment agreement. There is also no obligation on
the casual employee to accept the offer of work.

Know your minimum rights

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and no intended as a substitute for specific
professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.