Required Overtime...Is it allowed?

18 June 2019

In a recent case, Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa Inc v New Zealand Post Limited [2019] NZEmpC 47, a full Court of the Employment Court tackled the issue of availability provisions in employment agreements and concluded that while the amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 ("ERA") that occurred in 2016 effectively outlawed "zero-hour" contracts, the impact of those changes have a broader application.

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Personal Penalties for Breach of Employment Agreement

7 May 2019

A recent decision considers an often asked question and is the first to provide for personal penalties against an individual for breaches of good faith. The matter, Nicholson v. Ford was an appeal by Alan Nicholson against an Authority decision finding him personally liable for breaches of good faith against Matthew Ford. Allan Nicholson was the Director, Chief Executive and a Shareholder in a dental practice, Clinico, that employed Mr Ford as an accounts administrator. Mr Nicholson wished to restructure the company that employed Mr Ford. Mr Nicholson was responsible for the redundancy process that ultimately led to Mr Ford’s dismissal.

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Domestic Violence, role of the employer

24 April 2019

Statistics tell us Police respond to a family violence incident every 5 minutes on average, and 76% of these incidents also go unreported.

As the Employer you now have a duty and role to play if any of your staff become victims of domestic violence, or are the primary care giver for victims of the same.

Now with a framework of employer paid support in workplaces it's likely that most businesses will experience the issue first hand at some point. Businesses need to be ready, managers need to know what to do.

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Upcoming Employment Law Changes

14 March 2019

Rest and Meal Breaks

Following the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 from 6 May 2019 all employees will be entitled to the prescribed rest and meal break which, unless the parties agree otherwise, MUST BE TAKEN at the prescribed times. While it may be possible for an employer and employee to agree to change when the breaks happen, they cannot agree to a shorter break length.

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Get prepared for Easter and ANZAC day - Trading Hours, Special Licences and Employee Entitlements

7 March 2019

Good Friday is kicking off the Easter and ANZAC Day public holidays for 2019 on Friday 19th April. With these holidays, there is always some confusion around the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and how it applies to trading hours for Club Licences. If you are going to be seeking a special licence over any of these holidays the cut off date is fast approaching, so now is the time to get those applications in.

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Revisitation of Rest and Meal Breaks

22 February 2019

A series of amendments to the Employment Relations Act will take effect from 6 May 2019 including revision of Part 6D of the Act; Rest and Meal Break provisions. These new changes will effectively reverse amendments made by the previous government in March 2015 and reenact the original 2009 provisions. It is timely therefore to reflect on the law as it stood in March 2015 (before the changes) to determine what these new (old) changes will mean for us.

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$9000 for 1 days' work

14 February 2019

An extraordinary decision from the Employment Relation Authorities (ERA) recently saw a cafe worker who did a days' trial awarded $9000.

If we were unsure before, this case removes any doubt: awards from the ERA are going up.

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Wage Scale Not Compulsory - Insulting Behaviour Ok

30 January 2019

A recent article on Stuff titled “It’s legal to insult an employer in wage negotiations” examined a recent Employment Court decision Kaikorai Service Centre Limited v. First Union Inc. The article focussed on the employer’s unsuccessful objection, in a good faith setting, to the union’s use of a giant inflatable Rat (with the store owner’s name hung around its neck) during picketing action, and the use of insulting banners. However, the main thrust of the case, a successful challenge to allegations that the employer failed to bargain in good faith, was largely ignored in the article.

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IRD Payday Filing

22 January 2019

By now you will have heard about payday filing and that from the 1 April 2019 employers must:

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Long-standing pub owners fined $30,000 for treating employees as casuals

17 January 2019

Two Canterbury tavern owners have been ordered to pay $30,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) for 30 breaches of the Holidays Act.

Malcolm and Claire Bennett, owners and operators of the Coalgate Tavern in Canterbury for more than 30 years, have been penalised for failing to provide three employees with minimum holiday rights, by treating them as casual employees despite them being permanent staff.

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Minimum Wage Increases set for Three Years

20 December 2018

Club administrators need to take heed of the Government’s announcement that the minimum wage will increase by $1.20 per hour (from $16.50) to $17.70 from April 1st 2019 (No, it’s not a joke!). Great news for those employed on minimum wage, bad news for all small business owners and operators.

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Dunedin pair to pay $11,500 for breaching employment law

13 December 2018

Two Dunedin restaurant employers have been ordered to pay $11,500 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

Following a Labour Inspectorate investigation, Hai Ung and Vuochhuor Ung, who operate the South Dunedin Curry House, have been penalised for failing to keep accurate wage, time and leave records.

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