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No Jab, No Job: Has the Employment Relations Authority put a stake in the ground?

A recent decision of the Employment Relations Authority (the Authority) made by Member Beck sitting in Christchurch, has attracted a significant amount of attention. The decision is GF v New Zealand Customs Service, 2021 NZERA 382.  Put shortly, the Authority decided that Customs could dismiss the employee (GF) because the employee declined to get vaccinated […]

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 […]

Taking a privacy case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal

The Privacy Commissioner’s office have produced a guidance note explaining what types of cases the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT) can hear under the Privacy Act.  Before you can take a case to the HRRT, the Privacy Commissioner’s office must have investigated the aspects of your complaint that you want the Tribunal to consider.  Click here […]

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 […]