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Insurance Case Law Update

Written by Brett Morley, Christina Bryant and Shukti Sharma on April 28th, 2014.

In this update, we summarise insurance decisions issued at the close of 2013 and in first quarter of 2014.  Litigation arising from the Canterbury earthquakes continues to dominate the insurance landscape, with the Supreme Court granting leave for the appeal of many of the judgments discussed in our December report.
 

Safety Snapshot

Written by Alison Maelzer on April 28th, 2014.

Today is International Workers’ Memorial day, commemorating employees and contractors killed in the course of performing their jobs. In New Zealand, for the year 2013, 51 people lost their lives at work, and many more were seriously injured.   It is an opportune moment to reflect on where we are at with workplace health and safety, and where we are heading.
 

Supply agreements, the things you should know before signing

Written by Julika Wahlmann-Smith and Ben Lloyd on April 11th, 2014.

Supply agreements (rather than informal arrangements) are becoming increasingly common in today's business world, particularly in the restaurant industry.  But how well do you know your supply agreements?
 
 

INFORMATION OVERLOAD! KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DISCLOSE

Written by Jim Roberts and Michael O'Brien on March 26th, 2014.

What happens when an employee, or an unsuccessful candidate for a position, wants to see information relevant to their file or application that the employer considers is confidential?  The Human Rights Review Tribunal has recently considered this question.
Topics: Employment Law
 

KEEPING YOUR PROMISE: HAVE YOU MADE AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT THAT YOU CAN NOT KEEP?

Written by Jodi Sharman on March 26th, 2014.

An employment relationship commences with an offer and acceptance of employment.  This is a simple contract law premise, but there are a few legal tips that employers need to watch out for, especially in relation to trial periods and personal grievances.
Topics: Employment Law
 

PARENTAL LEAVE REDUNDANCY: RESTRUCTURING WHILE AN EMPLOYEE IS ON PARENTAL LEAVE – A HARD PUSH?

Written by Jodi Sharman and Claire Perry on March 26th, 2014.

Do not let employees on parental leave out of your sight!  When restructuring a business, it is important to pay particular attention to employees whose employment may be affected while they are on parental leave.
Topics: Employment Law
 

TAKE NOTICE: YOUR GUIDE TO THE MYTHS AND LEGENDS ABOUT NOTICE

Written by Jim Roberts on March 26th, 2014.

Myths and legends abound when it comes to notice of termination.  To name just a few:
Topics: Employment Law
 

HEALTH AND SAFETY REFORM BILL: RISKS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

Written by Alison Maelzer on March 26th, 2014.

Quite a few months after the ‘Exposure Draft’ was introduced in October 2013, the government has now introduced the Health and Safety Reform Bill into parliament.  The sales pitch is that this is the biggest health and safety reform in 20 years.  So what will it mean for you?
 

WORKSAFE BULLYING: MISS IT AT YOUR PERIL

Written by Jim Roberts and Shukti Sharma on March 26th, 2014.

Bullying is recognised as detrimental to a person’s physical or mental well being.  Employers have contractual and statutory duties to provide a safe workplace, and employers ignore bullying at their peril.  WorkSafe has recently released guidelines for recognising and dealing with bullying.
Topics: Employment Law
 

New District Court Rules

Written by Nick Gillies and Michael O'Brien on March 21st, 2014.

Over the past few months the Rules Committee has been considering a total revamp of the District Court Rules (DCRs).  At the same time, Parliament has been considering the Judicature Modernisation Bill – which, if passed, will make significant structural changes to the court system.
 
 

Changes are Coming! Are You Ready?

Written by Alison Maelzer and Michael O'Brien on February 11th, 2014.

The Employment Relations Act is changing (yes, again!).  What does this mean for you?
Topics: Employment Law
 

Health and Safety Changes - Directors Need To Act Now!

Written by Alison Maelzer on February 4th, 2014.

We all know about New Zealand’s appalling record in workplace health and safety, compared to the rest of the OECD.  This was, of course, brought into even sharper relief by the tragedy at Pike River.  The Royal Commission of enquiry into the Pike River tragedy, and the independent taskforce set up to review the state of workplace health and safety more generally, both identified that health and safety needs to be driven from the very top of each company. 
 
 

Diminution of value or the cost of cure: assessing the “normal” measure of damages in leaky building claims

Written by Christina Bryant on February 3rd, 2014.

Johnson v Auckland Council [2013] NZCA 662
 
Mr and Mrs Johnson purchased a leaky home in a mortgagee sale.  They were aware at the time of purchase that the house might leak.  The house had a code compliance certificate and the Council admitted to negligence in failing to identify the defects and in issuing the certificate.
 
 

New NZS Construction Contracts

Written by Nick Gillies and Michael O'Brien on January 30th, 2014.

For ten years NZS 3910:2003 was the form of construction contract most commonly used in New Zealand.  However, following industry feedback, NZS 3910:2003 has now been superseded by three new building and civil engineering contracts:
 
 
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