Our Blog

Let’s talk about pay: trends and changes to wage/salary negotiations

Money, money, money. A concept that both employers and employees can probably agree is one of the most important elements of working and business, and also something that can get stuck in your head, either in a good way or a bad way (similar to an ABBA song).  Money and pay are an integral part […]

Fair Pay Agreements and Public Sector Bargaining: A Flashback

Last week, I had a fascinating experience that took me right back to the early days of my employment relations bargaining career, which commenced just over 42 years ago. The first was the announcement by the Government and “guidance” given by the Public Service Commission to the Public Sector regarding how collective bargaining for pay […]

Compliance order made to compensate for effects of unlawful preference

The Employment Court agreed with the Authority in penalising the misleading and deceptive actions of a charitable trust that misled the unions it was bargaining with so that they believed government funding constrained it from agreeing to a greater increase in wages. It also agreed that the trust had conferred an unlawful preference upon non-union […]

Tax changes to employee allowances

Effective 1 April 2015, there are changes to the tax treatment of allowances that you might provide your employees. Allowances are payments made to an employee in addition to their salary or wage and can include payments for accommodation, food or clothing. The changes clarify the tax treatment of employer-provided accommodation, accommodation payments and other […]

Recent case: Employee ordered to pay training cost

An employer successfully sought recovery of training costs incurred by it in respect of a Diploma in Advanced Automation undertaken by an employee, who denied liability for the training costs. Early in 2011, the employee put a proposal to the employer that it fund the Diploma at a cost of $8,144.15. The employer agreed to the […]

Employer KiwiSaver contribution cannot take employee below minimum wage

Court of Appeal confirms the Employment Court’s position Employers can agree with employees that they will pay KiwiSaver contributions on a “total remuneration” approach whereby their wages are inclusive of the employer’s contribution. However, there is an important exception to that rule, and that is when the gross wages after such contributions are made are less that the statutory […]

Employer’s KiwiSaver contributions could not be deducted from minimum wage

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from an aged care provider that sought to deduct KiwiSaver compulsory employer contributions from the minimum wages it paid its caregivers. The Employment Court had found that it could not do so (Faitala v TerraNova Homes & Care Ltd (2012) 10 NZELC; [2012] NZEmpC 199) and its […]

KiwiSaver employer contributions

With the recent increase in the minimum rate of KiwiSaver contributions rising to 3% for both employees and employers, it is timely to examine the implications of KiwiSaver from both a financial and legal perspective. For employers, there are two approaches to calculating minimum employer contributions to KiwiSaver: the “default” approach and the “total remuneration” […]

Cabinet approves sleepovers agreement

12 September 2011, Tony Ryall The Government will contribute $90m towards phasing in the minimum wage for disability support workers on overnight sleepover shifts. Health Minister Tony Ryall says: “Cabinet this morning agreed to provide $90 million towards phasing in minimum wage rates by July 2013, and $27.5 million towards the back pay liabilities of […]