Employment Law
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Stressful‽ Mental Health Risks in Performance Management
Employers are often met with complaints of bullying and stress as soon as performance management commences.
9.08.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2016
On 25 July 2018 the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill passed its third reading in parliament. The resulting Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2016 will come into force on 1 April 2019.
30.07.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Contractor, Worker, Employee: The Gig Economy Gets a Judicial Serve
The UK Supreme Court’s recent decision about a plumber could influence how our own courts classify workers held out as contractors and workers for app-based companies like Uber.
26.07.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Managing Employees’ Mental Health Issues
Ministry of Health statistics confirm that during 2016, 169,454 people accessed mental health services in New Zealand. The law of averages suggests that most workplaces will – to a lesser or greater degree – be affected at some time by an employee’s mental health issue.
31.05.2018 Posted in Employment Law & Health & Safety Law
Managing Medical Incapacity: Enough To Make You Feel Sick?
Managers and HR practitioners often tell us that dealing with employees who are genuinely too sick or injured to work is one of their least favourite tasks. Frankly, we can see why.
31.05.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Trial Period Redux, Comparative Guide and Important Changes Last Week
Confusion continues to reign supreme in the application of trial periods.
10.04.2018 Posted in Employment Law
The Tweet you don’t want to see …..
Finding out you've been fired from your high profile job via the internet seems insensitive
29.03.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Hanging out for Easter? What you need to know if you are in retail.
Shops can now open on Easter Sunday
9.02.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Employment Law: the only constant is change…
Proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 200 (ACT)
26.01.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Hesketh Henry Recommended in The Legal 500 Directory as a Leading Firm in 2018
Firm receives recommendations and commentary in 2018 Legal Directories
Holidays Act: Help has arrived!
We are thrilled to announce that the first part of Holidays Act 2003: Guidance on annual holidays and related provisions has now been published
3.07.2017 Posted in Employment Law
Trial Period Notice – What Notice?
If you are planning on terminating under a trial period, we strongly suggest that you seek legal advice first
12.05.2017 Posted in Employment Law
Criminal Law and Employment Law – when worlds collide
The obligation an employer has to be open and honest to its employees, active and constructive, responsive and communicative and not to mislead or deceive, is the exact same set of obligations that employees owe to their employer
16.02.2017 Posted in Employment Law
You’re fired! Summary Dismissal – Do I still need a process?
Summary dismissal, that is, dismissal without notice, may arise in relation to serious misconduct, and sometimes where misconduct is repeated
8.02.2017 Posted in Employment Law
Wait, so Christmas Day follows Boxing Day this year!
Transferring public holidays
20.12.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Hesketh Henry Recognised in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 Legal Directory
Recognised in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 Legal Directory
What type of employment relationship do you have? Are you using the right employment agreement?
Which type of employment agreement should you be using?
2.11.2016 Posted in Employment Law
A Word of Warning
What is a formal warning?
7.09.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Gotta catch ‘em all? What does Pokémon Go mean for the employment relationship?
Messing around on company time, using the employer's stuff for your own benefit, and taking sickies are issues as old as employment law itself.
25.07.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Discrimination in the workplace – here we go again!
Just a quick refresher on discrimination.
19.07.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Payroll 3 – Compliance
Compliance with the Holidays Act is paramount, but that is closely followed by compliance with any collective agreement and then individual employment agreement.
20.04.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Deductions for Unworked Notice
An employer can deduct a sum equivalent to the salary for the unworked period from the employee's final pay. However, there are two cautionary notes:
6.04.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Payroll 2 – The Labour Inspectors are Coming
What are Labour Inspectors meant to do?
5.04.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Payroll 1 – Your Next Nightmare
This is the first of three newsletters focused on payroll compliance.
21.03.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Employment Law Changes – what you need to know about the latest round of amendments
We have set out the most significant changes
14.03.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Abandonment of Employment: wish you were here…
When an employee leaves work in dramatic fashion, it is important (from both a legal and practical perspective) to try and clarify the employee's intentions, so you all know where you stand.
4.02.2016 Posted in Employment Law
Employment Law Changes Ahead
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill (Bill), recently introduced to Parliament by the Government, proposes a raft of changes across employment legislation.
7.09.2015 Posted in Employment Law
66 Bottles of Beer …
Holding a union delegate responsible for 66 bottles of beer can be discrimination.  So says the Court of Appeal.  Is discrimination the new frontier?
18.08.2015 Posted in Employment Law
The disciplinary dance – don’t miss a step!
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...
6.08.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Enforcing Employment Standards – finally some teeth!
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...
21.07.2015 Posted in Employment Law
The devil is in the detail
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 w...
6.07.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Break-ing News
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...
4.05.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Enforcing Employment Standards – heavy sanctions looming!
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...
10.04.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Mondayisation of Anzac day
The term ‘Mondayised’ sounds more intimidating than it really is.
24.03.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Exciting? Not so much. Crucial? Definitely.
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.   Howe...
11.02.2015 Posted in Employment Law
Suspension – Not as straightforward as you may think
Suspending an employee is not as straightforward as many employers may think. In this article, we guide you through the legalities.
2.12.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Redundancy Wake Up: Court of Appeal Upholds Employment Court Decision
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 tha...
21.11.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Social Media: Can you be terminated for tweeting or lose your job for liking?
Businesses should take the opportunity to ensure they have a clear policy in place which outlines their position regarding social media.
12.11.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Once upon a time, there was a Bill…
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...
4.11.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Sun, Sand and Annual Leave
How much annual leave does an employee have and when is an employee entitled to take time off?
22.10.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Newsflash: Trial Periods
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...
5.09.2014 Posted in Employment Law
‘They’re Contractors Not Employees’ – Really?
How can you tell whether a person is an employee or contractor?
24.06.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Do Post Employment Earnings Attract Holiday Pay?
Is a former employee entitled to holiday pay on earnings received after they have finished work?
10.06.2014 Posted in Employment Law
INFORMATION OVERLOAD! KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DISCLOSE
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 Righ...
26.03.2014 Posted in Employment Law
KEEPING YOUR PROMISE: HAVE YOU MADE AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT THAT YOU CAN NOT KEEP?
An employment relationship commences with an offer and acceptance of employment. 
26.03.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Parental Leave Redundancy: Restructuring While An Employee Is On Parental Leave – A Hard Push?
When restructuring a business, it is important to pay particular attention to employees whose employment may be affected while they are on parental leave.
26.03.2014 Posted in Employment Law
TAKE NOTICE: YOUR GUIDE TO THE MYTHS AND LEGENDS ABOUT NOTICE
We expunge some of the myths.
26.03.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Changes are Coming! Are You Ready?
The Employment Relations Act is changing (yes, again!).  What does this mean for you? Now that the Christmas tree has been packed away for another year and the New Year celebrations have been success...
11.02.2014 Posted in Employment Law
Christmas Bonuses
Christmas bonuses, annual bonuses, or quarterly bonuses that are paid shortly before Christmas may all have an impact on holiday payments. Generally speaking, if the payment is made under an employee...
3.12.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Gift Policies
If, as an employer, you have gifting policies, now is a good time to remind employees of their content.
3.12.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Christmas/Annual Closedown Periods
Employers are entitled to have a Christmas closedown – provided they customarily have had a closedown period.  Unfortunately, what constitutes “customarily” is somewhat unclear: an employer tha...
3.12.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Holidays
In 2013-2014, both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a Wednesday.  Boxing Day and 2 January 2014 both fall on a Thursday.  Accordingly, all are to be observed on the actual days they fall. Publ...
3.12.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Work Christmas Functions
Employers have responsibility for their staff at any work-related Christmas function.  This can potentially include client functions. Employee behaviour can stray into misconduct, particularly where ...
3.12.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Pre-Employment Assessments – What You Need To Know
Can employers use ‘on the job trials’ as part of the recruitment process?  An Employment Court decision suggests the answer is ‘yes’, but there are still some pitfalls to watch out for. To av...
8.11.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Skeletons in the Closet – Misrepresenting Convictions
A Fonterra driver has won his unjustified dismissal case after failing to disclose previous criminal convictions in his job application. The application included a warning that a failure to disclose c...
8.11.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Job Application Forms and Questions – Have you been sterilised?
A job application form seems so simple, however they can be harder to make legally compliant than you might think. In the Media An extreme example recently reported by Fairfax Media was a series of ...
7.11.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Can you deduct from an employee’s wage? It’s not as easy as you may think.
It is a fundamental rule that employers must pay the entire amount of an employee’s wage without any deduction.  But what about PAYE, an overpayment made to the employee or if the employee owes you...
7.11.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Garden leave intertwines with post-termination restraint of trade
It is the nature of business that employees often resign in order to take up jobs with competitors.  In some cases, these employees are privy to valuable business information which soon-to-be ex-empl...
7.11.2013 Posted in Employment Law
A Pregnant pause
A pregnant pause In March 2013, The Observer reported that: “one in seven women surveyed had lost their job while on maternity leave; 40% said their jobs had changed by the time they returned, with ...
30.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Replacement Workers – Are the times (and the law) changing?
Replacement Workers – Are the times (and the law) changing? On 13 June the Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot of private members’ bills, meaning t...
30.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
The Employment Relations Act Gets a Makeover
The Employment Relations Act Gets a Makeover In the March 2013 edition of Employment News, we mentioned that the Government was to introduce a new Bill to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000 in se...
30.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Make time for tea – do your employees take their breaks?
Most employers are now cognisant that employees are entitled to rest breaks and meal breaks during the employee’s working hours. What may not be so clear are the employer’s obligations to inform a...
11.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law & Health & Safety Law
Shaking it up at Fonterra
Who knew that Fonterra employees were such dedicated followers of internet trends? The dairy giant has once again found itself embroiled in employment litigation over a social media craze. Back in 201...
4.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
A Lot of Ink Gets Used on Tattoos
Subject to any guidelines, agreement, or policies to the contrary, an employee is allowed to turn up to work wearing an ugly tie or with a horrific haircut. An employee’s appearance, is, within reas...
4.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Redundancy – Employer Judgement or Court Judgment?
Four recent decisions of the Employment Court have found the employers’ reasons for redundancy wanting, and have consequentially held the dismissals to be unjustified. Rittson-Thomas t/a Totara ...
4.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Must an employer offer redeployment to employees who would otherwise be redundant?
The answer is not so straightforward
4.07.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Pre-Employment Assessments – Employed or not Employed: that is the question
Are pre-employment assessments possible or has an employee already entered into employment?
11.06.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Changes at the Employment Court
Judge Barrie Travis Judge Travis, a long-serving Judge of the Employment Court in Auckland, retired at the end of 2012. A member of the Court since 1989, Judge Travis has been responsible for some of ...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Legislation Update
Given the summer holiday, one would expect little to report in the way of proposed legislative changes to employment law.  The Government clearly didn’t get that memo!  Since November, it has anno...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Court rules competing rights trump religious belief at work
Recently, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) ruled on claims brought by four applicants based upon what they saw as discrimination against them in their workplaces on the grounds of relig...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Two Degress of Separation: How Not to Vary and Employment Agreement
The Employment Relations Authority’s decision in Edwards v Two Degrees Mobile Ltd serves as a reminder to employers of the fundamental requirement to reduce agreements to writing.  It also demonstr...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
KiwiSaver V Minimum Wage – It’s a Knockout!
In the recent decision of Faitala v Terranova Homes & Care Ltd, the Employment Court firmly rejected an employer’s position that it was entitled to deduct the employer’s compulsory KiwiSaver c...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Tomorrow Doesn’t Work for Me, Nor Does Any Other Day – Let’s Just Not Bother: An Employee’s Refusal to Attend a Disciplinary Meeting
We are quite often asked what to do if an employee just won’t turn up to a disciplinary meeting.  Do you have to delay forever? Can you box on and hold the meeting without the employee in question?...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Don’t Let the truth get in the way of a good story
DON’T LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY The New Zealand Herald reported on 21 January 2013 about a manager at Independent Liquor (referred to using the Bond-esque title “Mr X”) who wa...
8.03.2013 Posted in Employment Law
Employment News, Legislation Update
LEGISLATION UPDATE What’s new in the world of employment-related legislation? A real mix of developments in legislation dealing with adventure tourism, parental leave, the controversial “...
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Employment News, October 2012
Watch This Space! Since our last edition of Employment News, we have learned of two important cases before the Employment Court regarding KiwiSaver contributions and Equal Pay for women. There are al...
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Public Sector Changes – Protection, Control and Redundancy
The State Sector and Public Finance Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament in late August, and is currently awaiting its first reading.
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Employee Benefits – which Employer carries the can?
When a ‘vulnerable’ employee elects to transfer employers under Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“Act”), all their employment entitlements transfer with them.  The new employer b...
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Whats Up with Constructive Dismissal
In a matter of months the Minister of Labour has stated that she intends to review the law regarding constructive dismissal, a couple of constructive dismissal cases were reported in the media, and Ch...
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Crest Cleaning Refuses to Transfer Vulnerable Employees
Either Crest Commercial Cleaning (“Crest”) are on a crusade against Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“Act”) or Part 6A has unfairly rallied against Crest.  The object of Part 6A ...
26.10.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Carter Holt Harvey Limited v McAuley
Fixed Term Employment Agreements Section 66 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“ERA”) allows an employer to employ an employee for a fixed term. There are, however, various prerequisites, set o...
11.08.2012 Posted in Employment Law
Legislation Update – July 2012
What’s new in the world of employment-related legislation?
27.07.2012 Posted in Employment Law
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