Recent cases of a fast-food worker who was punched by her manager, and an Auckland Council manager who verbally abused staff, highlight New Zealand’s legislative weaknesses in the area of workplace bullying, according to two academics.

Employees Wage Time Records

The Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Minimum Wage Act 1983 require employers to keep records of time worked and wages paid for that time. Accordingly, employers should set up a system as required by the Acts. Note that it is an offence to fail to keep a wage and time record.

Restructuring Redundancy Selection Processes

We’ve all heard about the controversial “Massey v Wrigley” case, which has redefined the way we need to conduct our selection processes when restructuring, at least for the time being.  We’re hoping this piece of case law will change before too long, and Government has indicated that if it’s not resurrected through the Courts then a law change will be looked at around this in the future.

Discrimination Recruitment Advertising

It is unlawful to advertise in a manner that indicates an intention to discriminate or could reasonably be understood as indicating an intention to discriminate. It is also unlawful to allow a discriminatory advertisement to be published. Thus, an employer that places a discriminatory advertisement and the newspaper that runs the advertisement both act unlawfully.

Dismissal Medical Incapacity

Employers are not expected to keep a sick or incapacitated employee’s job open for an indefinite period. However, the dismissal of a sick or incapacitated employee must be substantively justified and procedurally fair.

Part Time Casual Employees

There is no legal definition of part-time and casual employees. Generally speaking, part-time workers are employed on a permanent basis for less than the ordinary number of hours per week. Part-timers may, for example, work for a few hours a day or for a few days a week on an ongoing basis. Part-time workers have all the rights and entitlements of full-time workers.

Fact Cleaning Possibly Component Work Put Council Employees Vulnerable Category

It was argued, however, that all were required to pick up litter before performing their various maintenance tasks and that this, combined with other tasks such as cleaning work vehicles and public barbeques, constituted the provision of cleaning services notwithstanding that the bulk of their tasks were, variously, gardening, mowing, edging, the maintenance of fixtures or horticultural labouring.

Drug Alcohol Policies

The case law is relatively clear regarding drug and alcohol policies and it’s important that you get all elements right or it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on!

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