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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 […]

Unpaid pre-employment test not part of trial period

A recent determination from the Employment Relations Authority has found a voluntary, unpaid pre-employment test did not form part of a trial period.  The employees personal grievances for unjustified dismissal and disadvantage failed. After attending an interview for a position in a salon, the candidate agreed to work as a volunteer for one day so […]

Employment agreement should be signed

In the past it has been thought that getting a new employee to sign and return a covering letter would be sufficient acknowledgment and acceptance of an employment offer and the terms and conditions set out in an attached draft employment agreement. The Employment Relations Authority suggested recently that signing a covering letter might not […]

Work trials prove risky!

Unpaid trial periods are a potentially serious breach of minimum employment standards, Inspectorate warns. 12 September 2014 Maruia Springs Thermal Resort Limited has agreed to pay wages to employees it did not pay during work trials, following an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate. The investigation uncovered that the resort […]

“Test run” of worker leads to trouble

Yet another 90 day trial period mistake The Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act) makes provision for hiring employees on trial periods for up to 90 days. If the employee proves to be unsatisfactory, provided the requirements of the Act are met, the employee can be dismissed without following the normal performance management process. Despite […]

What to do if you’ve been dismissed

It’s an awful situation to find yourself in, but it actually happens more often than you may think.  Being sacked, fired, or instantly (summarily) dismissed without notice can be a huge shock to your system, and your finances!  Feeling bewildered and not knowing where to turn or what to do is common.  So, to give […]

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 […]

Recent Case: Volunteer cannot be an employee intending to work

Volunteers are expressly excluded from the definition of “employee” by s 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000. A volunteer worker is not an “employee” because some form of hire or reward must be present. However, if a worker is working as a “volunteer” in order to get a job then the worker falls within […]

Pitfalls of the 90-day trial period – employers beware!

This article was originally written in 2012.  We have revised and updated the content according to further developments in case law.  Please see the new article “Don’t let the 90 day trial period trip you up” published in August 2014. The 90-day trial period has been extended to all employers regardless of the number of employees.  […]