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66 Bottles of Beer ...

Written by Jim Roberts on August 18th, 2015.

Holding a union delegate responsible for 66 bottles of beer can be discrimination.  So says the Court of Appeal.  Is discrimination the new frontier?
Topics: Employment Law
 

The disciplinary dance – don’t miss a step!

Written by Jim Roberts & Alison Maelzer on August 6th, 2015.

Once an employer has investigated allegations of misconduct, and reached the conclusion that yes, the employee has indeed done what they were accused of, it is tempting to race to the finish line, and just issue the warning or dismissal.  However, employers need to take a breath, and make sure that the employee gets an opportunity to comment on the proposed sanction before it is decided.
Topics: Employment Law
 

Enforcing Employment Standards – finally some teeth!

Written by Alison Maelzer on July 21st, 2015.

For a long time, enforcement of employment standards has been a bit of the proverbial slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket. However, things are about to get quite a lot tougher for employers who intentionally break the rules around minimum wage, leave, and record-keeping
Topics: Employment Law
 

The devil is in the detail

Written by Alison Maelzer on July 6th, 2015.

Recently we have noticed a number of employers getting themselves in trouble when it comes to the disciplinary process.   Often, these employers will have a good idea of what the employee has done wrong, but keep that detail to themselves.   The key is not just knowing the details of an employee’s misconduct, but in sharing that information with the employee. 
 
Topics: Employment Law
 

Break-ing News

Written by Michael O'Brien on May 4th, 2015.

There has been a lot of comment in recent months about changes to rest and meal break entitlements.  Based on those comments, one could be forgiven for thinking the world was ending.  Take one union as an example: they described the changes as nothing less than a “radical attack” on the rights of Kiwi workers.
Topics: Employment Law
 

Enforcing Employment Standards – heavy sanctions looming!

Written by Alison Maelzer and Nina Thomson on April 10th, 2015.

For a long time, enforcement of employment standards has been a bit of the proverbial slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket.   However, things are about to get quite a lot tougher for employers who intentionally break the rules around minimum wage, leave, and record-keeping.
Topics: Employment Law
 

Mondayisation of Anzac day

Written by Alison Maelzer and Michael O'Brien on March 24th, 2015.

This year ANZAC Day falls on a Saturday.  Thanks to amendments to the Holidays Act 2003, this means the public holiday is ‘Mondayised’.    
 
Topics: Employment Law
 

Exciting? Not so much. Crucial? Definitely.

Written by Jim Roberts and Alison Maelzer on February 11th, 2015.

Wage and time records are not the sexiest or most captivating aspect of employment law.  Indeed, it is an element of HR that is easy for even the best, most diligent practitioners to forget.   However, while it may not be particularly exciting, a recent case in the Employment Relations Authority (Shi v Advanced Computers Limited [2015] NZERA Auckland 23) highlights the importance for employers of keeping these records.  In this case, the employee claimed that he had not been paid for the hours that he had worked. 
 
Topics: Employment Law
 

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
 

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
 

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
 

‘They’re Contractors Not Employees’ – Really?

Written by Jim Roberts and Sarah Holderness on June 24th, 2014.

Are your ‘workers’ employees or contractors?  When it comes to termination, you need to make sure you have the classification spot on.  A contractor can be terminated subject to the terms of his or her contract.  An employee, however, can only be terminated if that termination can be procedurally and substantively justified.  This includes the labyrinth of ‘good faith’, natural justice and ‘test of justification’ that permeates employment law.
Topics: Employment Law
 

Do Post Employment Earnings Attract Holiday Pay?

Written by Sarah Holderness on June 10th, 2014.

The Employment Court answers the question: is a former employee entitled to holiday pay on earnings received after they have finished work?
 
Topics: Employment Law
 
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