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Employment legislation changes

15 March 2019: A significant number of changes have recently been introduced into the legislation governing employment relationships.  Some of these changes have already taken effect, whilst there are further changes coming in April, May and June this year. It is important that employers understand the changes and put in place the right mechanisms, documents and […]

Equal Pay Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament

25 September 2018: The Equal Pay Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament on the 125 year anniversary of women getting the vote. The Bill provides employees with the right to make a pay equity claim and sets out the process for the parties to follow if a claim has merit. The Bill specifies that […]

Is pursuing a claim under the Human Rights Act really more lucrative?

A perception has developed among litigants and practitioners that pursuing a claim under the Human Rights Act has the potential to be more lucrative than under the Employment Relations Act (when the nature of the claim is such that it could be pursued either way). The question is, does this perception have any merit? It […]

Recent Case: Failure to accommodate Sabbath practice discriminatory

A business that failed to accommodate an employee’s requests not to work Saturdays following his return to the practices of the Seventh Day Adventist Church was found to be in breach of the Human Rights Act by the Human Rights Review Tribunal. Central to that decision was the Tribunal’s choice of comparator when determining whether […]

Age discrimination case raises conflict of laws issues

Two pilots, living in New Zealand but flying mostly abroad (Hong Kong and Australia) for Cathay Pacific, were successful in their case that their mandatory retirement at 55 years was in breach of New Zealand’s age discrimination laws.   Relying on a UK case concerning other pilots employed by Cathay, the Court concluded that the […]

Legal Considerations with Recruitment

Recruiting new employees There are a number of legal requirements that have to be taken into account when undertaking recruitment. Of particular importance is the need to avoid acting in a discriminatory fashion and to ensure personal information is kept private. It is important to review all job specifications, advertisements and application forms to ensure […]

Key decision – Employer discriminates in failing to accommodate employee’s Sabbath observance

An employee whose religion required him to observe the Sabbath (in this case, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) was successful in the Human Rights Review Tribunal in his case of religious discrimination. He had obtained a job at AFFCO’s meatworks, being asked merely if he was available for overtime. In similar employment previously, overtime […]

Right to view competing CVs given to job applicant

In an interesting Human Rights Review Tribunal case (Waters v Alpine Energy Ltd [2014] NZHRRT 8), a prospective employer was recently ordered to disclose confidential information to an unsuccessful candidate for two positions. The information required to be disclosed included information about the successful candidates and information from referees – despite the usual expectation of […]

Tattoo policy precedent

You might remember back in 2011, when the Spit Roast Catering Company (SPCC) won the case over the right to cover up a Maori worker’s tattoo. Claire Haupini was employed to help set up such functions, serve at them, and tidy up afterwards, effectively fulfilling a “frontline” role she, along with other staff, had direct […]

Discrimination in Employment

Question: I applied for a management position with a publishing firm. X and I were short listed for the position. I know X personally. We are both single but I have day-to-day care of a young child. X got the job. I asked a friend who works for the firm why I had missed out […]

Discrimination and Recruitment

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. […]