A clause in an employment agreement that provided a commonly used clause did not entitle an employer to deduct four weeks pay from an employee’s pay when the employee left without giving the requisite notice.  The clause stated:

Judge Reiterates Doubt Damages Claims Dismissal Situations

Judge Inglis has repeated her reservations about the “double-whammy” effect of dismissal and a damages claim, both arising out of the same poor performance during the employment relationship. She considers that it “sits uncomfortably with the statutory mechanisms for resolving employment relationship issues and may well have a chilling effect on employees considering a personal grievance, concerned not to prompt a retaliatory damages claim in response” (Rainbow Falls Organic Farm Ltd v Rockell [2014] NZEmpC 136.

Understanding Applying 30 Day Rule

With the recent amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 removing the “30-day rule” from 6 March 2015, there may be some confusion as to what employment agreement employers should be offering new employees.

Employment Court Considers Issues Relating Contributory Conduct

The first issue was whether a 100% reduction in remedies was in fact permitted by s 124 of the Act (reducing the remedy due to contributing behaviour by the employee).  Chief Judge Colgan considered that there was a “respectable argument” that it was not, but he thought the matter needed to be addressed another time and by a full court.

Compliance Order Compensate Effects Unlawful Preference

The Employment Court agreed with the Authority in penalising the misleading and deceptive actions of a charitable trust that misled the unions it was bargaining with so that they believed government funding constrained it from agreeing to a greater increase in wages. It also agreed that the trust had conferred an unlawful preference upon non-union employees by giving them an increase backdated beyond that given to union members.

Employment Agreement Signed

In the past it has been thought that getting a new employee to sign and return a covering letter would be sufficient acknowledgment and acceptance of an employment offer and the terms and conditions set out in an attached draft employment agreement. The Employment Relations Authority suggested recently that signing a covering letter might not be sufficient to signify acceptance of the agreement itself.

Employment Agreements Hires

With the recent amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 removing the “30-day rule” from 6 March 2015, there may be some confusion as to what employment agreement employers should be offering new employees.

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