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Burger King banned from hiring migrant workers for one year

A recent Authority case yet again highlights the serious consequences business owners face for not paying employees in accordance with their minimum statutory entitlements. Penalties of up to $20,000 for each breach are being imposed and, since 1 April 2017, new measures are being enforced to stop employers, who do not comply with or who […]

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 […]

Employers to pay for pre-work meetings

Unions representing retail workers are receiving numerous complaints from employees around the country after a recent Employment Court case has ensured that employers can no longer plead ignorance to avoid paying employees for participating in work related activities outside of work hours [1].   Smiths City Group Ltd has been ordered to comply with an Improvement […]

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 […]

Minimum Wage increases to $16.50 per hour

On 1 April 2018 the adult minimum wage rate went up 75 cents to $16.50 per hour. The starting out and training rates also increased 40 cents to $13.20 per hour. If you pay your workers minimum wage rates, you’ll need to make sure you update your payroll system and their employment agreements (you can […]

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 […]

The first ‘availability’ case – Fraser v Mc Donald’s Restaurants (New Zealand) Limited

This is the first case in which section 67D of the Employment Relations Act (regarding availability provisions) has been considered by the Employment Court. The case concerned two Mc Donald’s employees who sought a declaration that their individual employment agreements contained an availability clause in terms of the new provisions in the Act, and that […]

$57,000 fine for breach of minimum employment standards

This case highlights the heavy consequences and financial implications of knowingly breaching minimum employment standards. BBS is a horticultural company which contracts services to horticultural growers, particularly asparagus producers in the Waikato.  Upon a Labour Inspector visit in 2013, it was discovered the employees were not provided with individual employment agreements, there were no time […]

Twice caught vineyard labour contractor penalised $25,000 for employment failures

A vineyard labour contractor has been penalised $25,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after a labour inspector found they failed to meet their obligation to keep employment records for a second time. This penalty follows on from an earlier determination by the ERA on 18 November 2015, where KRSVP Limited was ordered to pay $7,500 […]

Minimum Wage Increases 50 cents per hour on 1 April 2017

As of 1 April 2017 the new minimum wage rates are: Adult — $15.75 an hour Starting-out — $12.60 an hour (up from $12.20) Training — $12.60 an hour (up from $12.20) Starting-out and training minimum wages are 80% of the adult minimum wage. What you’ll need to do: You and your staff can agree […]

Clampdown on rogue employers who are breaching employment standards

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced new measures to stop employers who breach immigration and employment law from recruiting migrant workers. “Migrant workers make a valuable contribution to our workforce and have the same rights as any other worker,” Mr Woodhouse says. “It is simply unacceptable that those employers who exploit migrant workers are still […]

New Record Keeping Requirements

The introduction of the new Employment Standards Legislation from 1 April 2016 places greater emphasis on the requirement for employers to keep clearer records for pay, time, leave and public holidays. The purpose of these changes are to make it easier to assess if employees are receiving their minimum entitlements as set out in legislation. […]

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 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 […]

Tougher sanctions for breach of minimum employment standards

The Government has introduced the Employment Standards Legislation Bill. In essence, this is to provide harsher sanctions for exploitative employment practices involving breach of statutory minima relating to wages and holidays. Greater investigative powers for Labour Inspectors and employment institutions will assist in bringing perpetrators to account. At present, the maximum fine is $10,000 for […]

Hastings businesses penalised for failure to provide records

ERA regarded failures as serious breach of employers’ duties to abide by relevant employment and holiday legislation and ordered each business to pay $7,500 in penalties to the Crown. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered three Hawke’s Bay horticulture contractor businesses to pay a total of $22,500 in penalties for failure to provide employment […]

Employers reminded not to confuse part-time and casual workers

10 June 2015 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reminded employers today that part time employees who work regular rostered hours are entitled to pro-rated holidays and leave. The Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate regularly sees cases where people working part time are not getting their legal entitlements because the employer assumes they can just […]

Christchurch construction company penalised for labour law breaches during Christchurch rebuild

MBIE says this case is typical of a disappointing trend it is starting to see nationally of employers treating employees as contractors to avoid keeping records, making payments to IRD and paying the minimum wage and holiday entitlements. 28 January 2015 The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered wage arrears be paid to workers and imposed […]

Employee awarded over $90000 for unpaid wages and unjustified dismissal

Hill v Shand (Christchurch) [2014] NZERA 266 The employee in this case was hired as the manager of the Murchison camping ground. There was no written employment agreement between the parties but a verbal arrangement was made whereby the employee would be paid a salary of $30,000 per year and would also be entitled to […]

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 […]