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No Jab, No Job: Has the Employment Relations Authority put a stake in the ground?

A recent decision of the Employment Relations Authority (the Authority) made by Member Beck sitting in Christchurch, has attracted a significant amount of attention. The decision is GF v New Zealand Customs Service, 2021 NZERA 382.  Put shortly, the Authority decided that Customs could dismiss the employee (GF) because the employee declined to get vaccinated […]

What is appropriate disciplinary action?

This is one of the most difficult aspects of a disciplinary process, and is the part that is most closely scrutinised by the Authority or the Court.  In order for any disciplinary action to be justifiable in terms of the Employment Relations Act 2000, the outcome needs to be considered consistent with “what a fair and reasonable employer […]

An example of how NOT to fire someone

Taken from the movie “Up in the Air” with George Clooney, this clip gives an amusing example of how NOT to terminate someone’s employment.  This movie is full of very amusing but highly unlawful firing’s that would undoubtably lead to a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal if such techniques were attempted in New Zealand.

“Without prejudice” (off the record) discussions risky

Blakely v ACM New Zealand Ltd [2013] NZERA Christchurch 9 provides a textbook example of how not to initiate a “without prejudice” discussion about termination of employment. In that case, an employer was dissatisfied with the performance of one of its managers and resolved to dismiss her. The employer did not advise the employee about its […]

Dismissal justified by misrepresentations about health

An employer who dismissed an employee for failing to disclose a medical condition that could have affected his employment was held to have good grounds for terminating the employee’s employment. Mr Cook was employed by Allied Investments Ltd as a security officer working at night in a large factory using dangerous chemicals. As part of […]

More 90 day trial period controversy

There have recently been two pre-employment ‘trial’ trial period cases before the Authority, which seem to have had conflicting determinations made.  Yet again, more questions have been raised regarding the interpretation of the 90 day trial period legislation, section 67A of the Employment Relations Act 2000. The first case (Ahuja v Eden Mozaik), involved an […]

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 […]

Calculation of Holiday Pay on Termination of Employment

Question: An employee’s last working day is 31 May 2012. His next holiday anniversary date is 1 April 2013. His annual leave due to 31 March 2012 is 30 days at $200 per day ($6,000). His gross earnings for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 May 2012 are $10,000. What is his final holiday […]

Abandonment of Employment

Employment agreements may include a term (called an abandonment clause) to the effect that an employee who fails to attend work for a consecutive number of days (usually a minimum of three days), without consent or without notifying the employer shall be deemed to have abandoned his or her employment. In such a situation, the […]