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What does 'good faith' mean in an employment relationship?

#yourquestionsanswered Good faith is something we hear about a lot, but what does it actually mean?

Hard working person

In employment law, good faith refers to the expectation that both employers and employees will act honestly, openly, and with integrity in their interactions.

What does good faith look like?
  1. Open Communication: One of the pillars of good faith is open and transparent communication. Employees should feel encouraged to express their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of reprisal. Employers, in turn, are expected to provide clear information about workplace policies, changes, and any decisions that may affect the workforce.

  2. Fair Treatment: Good faith demands fair and equitable treatment for all employees. This includes fair remuneration, opportunities for professional development, and the provision of a safe and inclusive work environment. Employees have the right to be treated without discrimination and to have their contributions recognized and valued.

  3. Consultation and Involvement: Employers are expected to involve employees in the decision-making process, especially when changes that impact them are being considered. This can range from changes in work policies to significant organizational shifts. Employees have a right to be consulted and to have their perspectives taken into account.

  4. Resolving Disputes: In situations where conflicts arise, both parties are expected to engage in good faith efforts to resolve issues. This may involve open communication, mediation, or seeking assistance from relevant authorities.

  5. Mutual Trust: Good faith relies on the establishment and maintenance of mutual trust between employers and employees. Employers should trust their employees to perform their duties competently, while employees should trust that their employers have their best interests in mind.

Why is this important?

  1. Positive Work Environment: A workplace built on good faith fosters a positive and supportive atmosphere. When employees feel heard, valued, and treated fairly, it contributes to job satisfaction and overall well-being.

  2. Increased Productivity: Employees who trust their employers are more likely to be engaged and motivated. This trust can lead to increased productivity and a willingness to go above and beyond in their roles.

  3. Retention and Recruitment: Companies that operate in good faith are more likely to attract and retain top talent. Job seekers are increasingly considering the workplace culture and the treatment of employees as key factors in their employment decisions.

What happens if the employment relationship lacks good fiath?

It can become untenable! Either the employer or the employee might lose trust in the other and this can cause a complete breakdown in the relationship. If you're experiencing this, give us a call.


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