Unions representing retail workers are receiving numerous complaints from employees around the country after a recent Employment Court case has ensured that employers can no longer plead ignorance to avoid paying employees for participating in work related activities outside of work hours [1].

Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

2018 has been the year for a global movement of people, in particular women standing up and telling their stories of sexual abuse and harassment. It began when the #MeToo campaign gained traction by celebrities sharing their own experiences of sexual misconduct in their chosen industry after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became known as a sexual harasser with allegations dating back several decades. The campaign became so successful internationally, that it prompted allegations across multiple industries, including the legal sector in New Zealand.

Penalties For Employers Breaching Minimum Standards Are More Serious Than Ever

With tougher sanctions and penalties of up to $20,000 for each breach imposed on business owners, employers need to be confident they are meeting their minimum statutory obligations.

Minimum Wage Increases To 16 50 Per Hour

On 1 April 2018 the adult minimum wage rate went up 75 cents to $16.50 per hour. The starting out and training rates also increased 40 cents to $13.20 per hour.

Easter Sunday Trading And Notice Requirements

Territorial authorities (city and district councils) may now establish local policies that allow “shops” within their area, or parts of it, to trade on Easter Sunday.

Troubles With Triangular Employment Relationships

Another Bill has been recently introduced to Parliament intending to amend the Employment Relations Act.  The latest Amendment Bill focuses on triangular employment relationships, and seeks to ensure that employees employed by one employer, but working under the control and direction of another business or organisation, are not deprived of the right to coverage of a collective agreement, and to ensure that such employees are not subject to a detriment in their right to allege a personal grievance.

Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2018

On 25th January 2018, the Government announced a new Bill to legislate for fairer workplaces.  The Bill is designed to provide greater protections to workers, especially vulnerable workers, and strengthen the role of collective bargaining in the workplace to ensure fair wages and conditions.

New Bill Legislation For Fairer Workplaces Proposed

The Government introduced a new Bill on 25 January 2018 which intends to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000 with the aim of providing greater protection for employees and workers. The Government believes there is a need to restore fairness and balance into New Zealand workplaces. The changes are as expected and include restrictions imposed on the use of the trial period by businesses employing more than 20 employees, and among other things, restoring statutory rest and meal breaks.

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