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Employment Court Confirms Availability Requirements Extend Beyond “Zero-Hour Contracts”

Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa Inc v New Zealand Post Limited [2019] NZEmpC 47 EMPC 114/2018 In a recent Employment Court case, the Court confirmed that employers who seek to require an employee to be available for additional hours of work outside those set out in their employment agreement will need to: Ensure they have […]

New employer obligations towards domestic violence victims

3 August 2018: New Zealand has become the first country in the world to create new entitlements for domestic violence victims in their workplace, including a right to take up to 10 days of paid leave per year. On Wednesday the 25 July 2018, the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill spearheaded by Green MP Jan Logie […]

Employment protection proposed for domestic violence victims

22 June 2018:The Domestic Violence – Victim’s Protection Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament. The purpose of the Bill is to increase employment protection for victims of domestic violence in the workplace by reducing any existing barriers that may prevent them from having stable employment. What is this Bill about? The Bill seeks […]

Government’s Fair Pay Agreement work to begin

5 June 2018: The Government’s work on establishing Fair Pay Agreements, helping design a collective bargaining system to lift wages and productivity in New Zealand, will be led by former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jim Bolger, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Government has a vision for a highly skilled and innovative […]

Review of the Holidays Act

29 May 2018: A taskforce that brings business, workers and Government together has been established to recommend changes to the Holidays Act 2003, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Holidays Act was enshrined in law to provide for minimum entitlements to annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave, and protect worklife […]

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. In 2017 we have seen significant sanctions on employers and it seems every week the newspapers name and shame employers who have breached minimum standards. Penalties can […]

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 […]

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. To quote Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, “many of the changes in the […]

New Bill legislating 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 […]

What might the employment landscape become under our new Government?

After nine years under a National Government, the employment landscape is about to be reshaped.  While Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens all had different policies and priorities coming into the 2017 election, they shared the commonality of being policies for the people. One of the places where we are likely to see some […]

New Bill to allow higher income earners to contract out of Personal Grievance provisions

The Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill passed its first reading on 22 March 2017. The bill seeks to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000 by allowing employees with an annual gross salary over $150,000 to contract out of the personal grievance provisions. The Bill is intended to […]

Strengthening enforcement of employment standards

Employment standards are requirements such as the minimum wage, annual holidays and written employment agreements. They protect vulnerable workers and help to ensure workplaces are fair and competitive. As a result of the  Employment Standards Legislation Bill, new measures have come into force as at 1 April 2016.  Various statutes that govern the employment relationship have now been […]

Employment Standards Legislation Bill – Passed third reading

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has passed third reading in parliament and will come into force 1 April 2016. This Bill has been further amended divided off into the following separate Bills: Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill comprising clauses 1 and 2, Part 1, and Schedules 1 and 2 Employment Relations Amendment Bill […]

Zero-Hour Contracts

The Government wants to prevent unfair employment practices, and have now (from 1 April 2016) legislated against the use of Zero-hour contracts under the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016. The essence of employment arrangements of this kind is that the worker is offered work as and when the employer or work-user wishes without the guarantee […]

Employment Standards Bill

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill proposes to amend the New Zealand employment law to ensure it responds to the modern, dynamic business environment and encourages fair and productive workplaces. The key changes include: Extending paid parental leave to more workers and increase the flexibility of the scheme Strengthen enforcement of minimum employment standards Address issues […]

Health and Safety Bill a major step forward

New law emphasises that everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety. Michael Woodhouse, 27 August 2015 Today’s passing of the Health and Safety Reform Bill marks a major step in addressing New Zealand’s unacceptable workplace death and injury toll, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse. “This is the first significant […]

Health and Safety Reforms Passed

On 27 August 2015, Parliament passed the health and safety reform legislation. Introduced on 10 March 2014, the Health and Safety Reform Bill reforms New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system. Its main purpose is to provide for a balanced framework to secure the health and safety system that has already resulted in the establishment […]

Health and Safety legislation delayed again

The Bill reforming health and safety law has been further delayed, with the Committee report back date rescheduled to 24 July 2015. Radio NZ reports that the delay is a result of disagreement within the National Party caucus over how far the changes should go, particularly for small businesses and farms. Source: www.parliament.nz

Dairy farm visits show majority of farmers breaching employment laws

In total 44 farms were visited between December 2013 and early April 2014 and 31 were found to be in breach of minimum employment rights. 28 April 2014 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate has released the results of the second phase of its national dairy strategy, revealing more than half the […]