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Workplace Relations Adviser

Kaitohutohu Takawaenga Mahi

Alternative titles for this job

Workplace relations advisers provide advice and mediation to different groups in the workplace to prevent and resolve workplace disputes.


Workplace relations advisers usually earn

$92K-$122K per year

Workplace relations managers usually earn

$102K-$163K per year

Source: Hays, 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a workplace relations adviser are average due to limited growth and strong competition for vacancies.


Pay for workplace relations advisers varies depending on experience and the type of work.

  • Workplace relations advisers with up to 5 years' experience usually earn between $92,000 and $122,000 a year.
  • Workplace relations managers usually earn between $102,000 and $153,000.
  • Highly experienced workplace relations professionals who specialise in change management can earn up to $163,000.

Source: Hays, 'Australia/New Zealand Salary Guide FY 2021', 2020.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Workplace relations advisers may do some or all of the following:

  • arrange meetings between the representatives of different groups in the workplace
  • guide discussion between disputing groups to help them reach an agreement
  • advise management about legislation, policy and strategy involving workplace relations
  • plan, negotiate and write employment agreements, workplace policies and informational resources
  • give educational presentations to community groups, schools and other organisations.

Skills and knowledge

Workplace relations advisers need to have:

  • the ability to resolve disputes using negotiation and mediation
  • knowledge of employment law and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • knowledge of industrial relations and management methods.

Working conditions

Workplace relations advisers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work overtime
  • work in offices or onsite at different kinds of workplaces
  • may travel locally and regionally to conduct mediations.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a workplace relations adviser, but a tertiary qualification in one of the following areas is recommended:

  • human resources
  • psychology
  • management
  • industrial relations
  • law.

Professional accreditation

Most workplace relations advisers need to complete a mediation course so they can get accredited with a dispute resolution institute.

Secondary education

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, te reo Māori, history, and languages.

Personal requirements

Workplace relations advisers need to be:

  • good problem solvers
  • mature and impartial
  • able to relate to a wide range of people
  • good at listening and communicating
  • able to keep information private.

Useful experience

Useful experience for workplace relations advisers includes:

  • legal work
  • human resources work
  • counselling, teaching or social work
  • work in hospitality or services
  • work involving negotiation.


Workplace relations advisers can choose to register with one of two organisations:

  • Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand
  • Resolution Institute.

They both require you to attend a course, pass a test and pay a fee to gain accreditation. You will then attend courses and practise mediation each year to remain accredited.

Find out more about training

Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand
0800 426 469 - -
The Resolution Institute
0800 453 237 - -
The Skills Organisation
0508 754 557 - -
Ignite Colleges
0800 200 345 - - https://ignite
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Average demand for workplace relations advisers

Vacancies for workplace relations advisers are average because:

  • the occupation is growing slowly
  • there is strong competition for positions that become available
  • organisations are increasingly hiring advisers from agencies, rather than employing their own full-time advisers.

According to the Census, 729 workplace relations advisers worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Good demand for change managers

Demand for workplace relations advisers who specialise in change management is good because many businesses restructure their workforces.

Types of employers varied

Workplace relations advisers may work for:

  • government departments
  • unions
  • industry workplaces
  • agencies.

Some workplace relations advisers work independently as consultants.


  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupation Outlook for Human Resource Professionals', accessed December 2020, (
  • Robert Walters, 'Australia & New Zealand Salary Survey 2020', January 2020, (
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
  • Stats NZ, 'Workplace Relations Advisers in New Zealand by Region', accessed December 2020, (


(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Workplace relations advisers may progress to set up their own dispute resolution consultancy or move into change management work.

Workplace relations advisers can specialise in a particular industry such as construction, tourism or insurance.

A man in business clothes sits at a table with a document talking with three coworkers

Workplace relations advisers mediate between different groups in the workplace to resolve disputes.

Last updated 20 October 2022