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Insurance Case Law Update

Written by Christina Bryant, Stephanie Corban, Nick Gillies and Gennise Luen on December 23rd, 2014.

In this update, we summarise significant insurance decisions released in the latter part of 2014.
Topics: Insurance Law

Responding to Progress Payment Claims: Lessons from the Court of Appeal

Written by Mary Battersby on December 19th, 2014.

Two recent Court of Appeal decisions, SOL Trustees Limited v Giles Civil Limited and Watts v Hughes Construction Limited v Complete Siteworks Company Limited highlight potential pitfalls when responding to payment claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002: a payment schedule must comply with s 21 to prevent a payment claim falling due, and the exercise of a contractual right of election to extend the due date for responding to a payment claim must be communicated to the other party.

New Residential Building Regulations

Written by Michael O'Brien on December 19th, 2014.

The Building (Residential Consumer Rights and Remedies) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations) are coming into force on 1 January 2015.  These implement a number of new consumer protection measures for residential building work.

Selling your home when it is owned by a Family Trust

Written by Joanne Chilvers and Shukti Sharma on December 11th, 2014.

Why you need to make sure all trustees are consulted and in agreement before you sign an agreement to sell your home.

The High Court has delivered two separate decisions within the last five months on the issue of whether a sale and purchase agreement is binding if the vendor is a trust and only some of the trustees have signed the agreement.  In short, can a trust commit to the sale of trust property without the unanimous consent of all the trustees?


Suspension - Not as straightforward as you may think

Written by Jim Roberts and Jodi Sharman on December 2nd, 2014.

Suspending an employee is not as straightforward as many employers may think. In this article, we guide you through the legalities.
Topics: Employment Law

Redundancy Wake Up: Court of Appeal Upholds Employment Court Decision

Written by Jim Roberts and Michael O'Brien on November 21st, 2014.

Redundancies have been a hot-button issue over the past 18 months, with no fewer than four Employment Court decisions dealing with them.  The Court of Appeal has now weighed in, and made findings that are important to employers and employees alike.
Topics: Employment Law

Social Media: Can you be terminated for tweeting or lose your job for liking?

Written by Alison Maelzer and Nina Thomson on November 12th, 2014.

If you think the seemingly inconsequential act of liking a post by someone else on Facebook is outside the scope of your employment relationship, then think again.  In Bylevens v Kidicorp Limited the Employment Relations Authority has found that an employer was justified in dismissing a childcare Centre Manager for serious misconduct owing to her Facebook activities, which included ‘liking’ a post made by someone else. 
Topics: Employment Law

Maintenance & Repair Obligations under a Commercial Lease

Written by Joanne Chilvers on November 7th, 2014.

The extent of a tenant's responsibility to maintain and repair their premises under a commercial lease is something that often causes concern for both landlords and tenants alike and is not always easy to determine.  Written by Joanne Chilvers.

Once upon a time, there was a Bill…

Written by Jim Roberts and Nina Thomson on November 4th, 2014.

Way way back, during the 2011 election campaign, National made a promise to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000.  Following what has proven to be a long-winded saga featuring criminal convictions, resignations, Kim Dotcom, and another election, those changes have finally passed.  Whew!

Sun, Sand and Annual Leave

Written by Jim Roberts and Sarah Holderness on October 22nd, 2014.

The warmer weather is here, bringing with it the desire to take time away from work to enjoy the sunshine.  But what are employees entitled to?  How much annual leave does an employee have and when is an employee entitled to take time off?
Topics: Employment Law

New Zealand's Looming Construction Boom

Written by Nick Gillies on October 21st, 2014.

It is now widely recognised that New Zealand is on the brink of the largest construction boom in 40 years.  ‘Unprecedented growth’[1] is expected over the next decade.
This note outlines the main reasons for the increase in demand, puts some figures against the expected growth and outlines the relevant legal issues and current responses.
[1] Steven Joyce, Minister for Business Innovation and Enterprise, Press Release, 20 November 2013

When do you need to call WorkSafe?

Written by Alison Maelzer and Sarah Holderness on September 23rd, 2014.

We explain your reporting and recording obligations under the Health and Safety Reform Bill

Newsflash: Trial Periods

Written by Jim Roberts on September 5th, 2014.

The trials and tribulations of using a trial period are compounding with each new Authority and Court decision.   The latest wrinkle is the recent decision in Hutchison v Canon New Zealand Ltd [2014] NZERA Wellington 72.  In a nutshell, the Authority found that to terminate an employee’s employment in reliance on a trial period, an employer must give notice.  Paying in lieu of notice is not sufficient, even where that is expressly mentioned in the trial period clause. 
Topics: Employment Law

Rebuilding New Zealand: A case for Dispute Resolution Boards

Written by Nick Gillies on September 2nd, 2014.

New Zealand sits on the cusp of the largest construction boom in a generation.  One of the challenges (and opportunities) that this presents is how best to manage the inevitable increase in building and engineering disputes.  While this is especially true for the Canterbury rebuild, the pressures will be felt around country.

Alternate Directors - A Practical Solution

Written by Sarah Gibbs on July 17th, 2014.

A director may appoint an alternate director to act as their substitute during periods when the director is unavailable or absent.  The idea of an alternate director is basically to ensure the continuous appointment of a director so that company operations are not halted by the absence of a director.  As such, the appointment of alternate directors can provide a practical solution for companies with a sole director or companies with directors who travel often or are otherwise unavailable or absent from time to time.  
This article provides a brief summary of the appointment and function of alternate directors in a company.  Could appointing an alternate director be a sensible option for your company?
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