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FAQ: the COVID-19 resurgence and its impact on businesses

The resurgence of COVID-19 in New Zealand’s community has raised some new (and old) questions for businesses as they try to navigate levels 3 and 2 again. We’ve put together some answers for some of the issues businesses most frequently tell us they’re grappling with:   If an employee lives outside of the Auckland “border” […]

The Gulf Between Us

I sat in a meeting earlier this week and I heard a conversation play out between an employer and their former employee who was made redundant as a result of COVID-19. It was a conversation I have heard many times before, not just as a result of the pandemic but as part of the numerous […]

Our Top 4 commonly asked questions from April 2020: Covid-19 and the “new normal”

When it comes to working and COVID-19, businesses have had to navigate the obstacles and new requirements that come with Alert Level 3. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been assisting and supporting clients manage their workplace and deal with the tough COVID-19 questions. We would like to share our top 4 commonly […]

Managing redundancies in the COVID-19 environment

The effect of the COVID-19 virus on our economy is likely to be significant. As a consequence, some employers are going to need to take costs out of their businesses in order to weather the present environment. Some employers may be able to effect sufficient savings by encouraging staff to take leave without pay, early […]

How to develop a proposal for change…

Redundancy is generally considered to be a situation where an employee’s position is surplus to the employer’s commercial needs. Employers must be able to justify redundancies substantively (show that they are genuine) and procedurally (that a fair procedure was followed). An employer who fails to carry out a proper restructure process will be potentially liable […]

New Law for Redundancy Dismissals

An important Court of Appeal decision has been released which changes the substantive justification for redundancy Introduction The statutory test of justification, which requires the analysis of “what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances” is to be applied to all dismissal situations. A dismissal for redundancy requires the same […]

Recent case: Employees’ redundancy solution practicable

Employers who are considering making employees redundant must properly consider any proposals put forward by affected employees. If this is not done the employer will not have acted in a fair and reasonable manner and any dismissal for redundancy may be found to be unjustified. An employer who failed to properly consider a job share […]

Recent case: Both old and new employers ordered to compensate employee after the sale of the business

When a business is sold, staff must be clearly told what is to happen to their jobs. If employment is to end, the vendor employer must carry out a proper redundancy process. If the purchaser wishes to employ existing staff, it must enter into new employment agreements with those staff. A failure to tell employees […]

Incoming catering company cops cost of accrued leave

The Court of Appeal has found in favour of two companies which challenged a finding that they could be required to reimburse their successor to airline catering contracts for the previously accrued leave entitlements of 40 staff who transferred to the successor as Pt 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 permits. This is a […]

Restructuring and change management – How do I implement a justifiable redundancy process?

Background: I own a motel that currently has 28 rooms. I work a few hours myself and I employ a permanent part-time manager. I also have three employees (the cleaners) who are part-time with variable hours who carry out cleaning, servicing rooms and “whatever” turns up on the day. The manager helps with those duties […]

Recent case: Redundant employee reimbursed for lost wages

Generally, when a redundancy has been found to be genuine but the procedure undertaken by the employer in effecting the redundancy is procedurally flawed, the employee will not be entitled to be reimbursed for the resulting loss of remuneration. However, as the Employment Relations Authority pointed out in Rose v New Leaf Beauty Therapy Ltd […]

New redundancy rule – employer’s decision scrutinised

An important decision has recently been made by the Employment Court in terms of redundancy law.  Last month the Employment Court ruled that it can scrutinise an employer’s decision to make an employee redundant to ascertain whether there were sufficient business reasons for the redundancy. In Totara Hills Farm v Davidson, the Chief Judge of […]


Employment Protection Provision In accordance with Section 69OI(1) of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the “Act”), an employee protection provision means a provision— (a) the purpose of which is to provide protection for the employment of employees affected by a restructuring;     and (b) that includes— (i) a process that the employer must follow in negotiating with […]

Employment Relations (Statutory Minimum Redundancy Entitlements) Amendment Bill 2012

This Member’s Bill amends the Employment Relations Act 2000, to insert a new Part 6E to provide the following minimum statutory entitlements for employees in the event of dismissal for redundancy: (a)    notice of dismissal of no less than 4 weeks; and (b)    compensation for redundancy in the amount of 4 weeks’ remuneration for the […]

Employee’s Right to Wage & Time Records

The Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Minimum Wage Act 1983 require employers to keep records of time worked and wages paid for that time. Accordingly, employers should set up a system as required by the Acts. Note that it is an offence to fail to keep a wage and time record. In Service and […]

Restructuring, Redundancy and Selection Processes

We’ve all heard about the controversial “Massey v Wrigley” case, which has redefined the way we need to conduct our selection processes when restructuring, at least for the time being.  We’re hoping this piece of case law will change before too long, and Government has indicated that if it’s not resurrected through the Courts then […]

Change Management

Take a look at this quirky video on change management. It’s only three minutes long and provides some useful tips if you’re about to embark on a change process in your organisation.