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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 […]

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 […]

New Zealand Law Society recommends clarification to avoid unnecessary litigation

26 September 2013 The New Zealand Law Society has recommended clarification of proposed changes to clauses in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill. In its submission to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee the Law Society said proposed changes to clauses 7, 8 and 9 will remove the “duty of good faith” requirements that parties in […]

Reminder that employer’s are to ensure meal breaks are taken

In a recent case, an employee was awarded compensation of $750 because her employer did not advise her of her right pursuant to part 6D of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act) to take two paid ten-minute breaks during her working day. The employee had been employed for three years. The Employment Relations Authority […]

Implications for employees with variable hours of work

When an employee works variable hours, there are many implications an employer needs to take into consideration.  Some of the most common implications are summarised in the article below. Hours of work There is no legislation directly governing how many hours an employee may work per week. The Minimum Wage Act 1983 (section 11B) requires that […]

Q & A – Can a permanent employee work different hours each week?

Question: Is it legal for an employee under a individual employment agreement to work variable hours per week? For example, in the retail sector, an employee may work for 30 hours one week, 50 hours in the following week, 20 hours in the third week, 60 hours in the fourth week and so on. Although the […]

Recent Case: Penalty imposed for failure to provide meal breaks

Employees of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board claimed they have not been provided with a meal or rest break in accordance with sections 69ZD and 69ZE of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and applied to the Employment Relations Authority for the imposition of a penalty on the employer for breach of the Act. […]

Right to rest break does not give employee the right to leave premises

An employee who, while she was on duty as bar manager, left the premises for only a few minutes to attend to personal matters was dismissed justifiably for serious misconduct. The employee’s employment agreement provided that serious misconduct included a failure to comply with liquor licensing laws, and the law required that when liquor was […]