Online reviews have become an increasingly useful way for consumers to do their due diligence on a product or service before they buy. However, businesses need to be careful in their handling of user reviews to avoid a possible breach of consumer protection legislation. Set out below is a summary of what the law says and some guidance on how businesses can take steps to avoid breaching it.
The Trusts Act 2019 (Act) received Royal Assent on 30 July 2019. The Act will come into force from 30 January 2021 and is the most extensive revision and modernisation of New Zealand’s law relating to trusts and trust administration in over 60 years. The Act will replace the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964. If you have a family trust or are a trustee of a family trust, you should be aware of these key changes to the law and seek legal advice where appropriate.
Until recently, the finality of section 149 settlement agreements has been left largely untouched by the Employment Relations Authority, and Courts have been reluctant to set aside settlement agreements unless one of the parties was considered to lack the legal capacity to enter into an agreement.
The recent case of Bagley v Deloitte Limited  has broadened the circumstances in which the validity of these agreements can be challenged. It sets a potentially concerning precedent that employers should be wary of.
In December 2018, the Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018 (Regulations) were approved and publicly announced. The Regulations came into force on 1 July 2019, meaning that businesses in New Zealand are now unable to distribute or sell single-use plastic shopping bags. Click through for more information on these regulations.
On 4 December 2018 the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act 2018 came into force. The purpose of the Act is to provide a simple mandatory system in New Zealand that provides consumers with accurate information about the country or place of origin of certain foods so they can make informed decisions about purchasing food.
New Zealand’s law relating to trusts and trust administration is undergoing its most extensive revision and modernisation in over 60 years. On 1 August 2017, Justice Minister Amy Adams introduced the Trusts Bill (Bill) into Parliament. The Bill is now heading towards its second reading. We expect that the Bill will pass into law – most likely during this year.
The Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill received royal assent on 8 April 2019 and will come into effect on 8 April 2021. This means in two years’ time, a breach of the cartel laws could result in jail time as well as substantial fines.
On 13 March 2019 the Justice Select Committee released its report on the proposed Privacy Bill which will repeal and replace the Privacy Act 1993. The Privacy Commissioner previously lobbied for a number of changes to the Bill but unfortunately the Committee did not give him everything on his wish list. Below is a summary of the key changes the Select Committee has proposed to the Bill and the changes that did not make the cut.
The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 provides rules on the division of property when a relationship ends on separation. The Law Commission has recently reviewed this Act, making a number of key proposals in an Issues Paper published in November 2018. The Commission is currently reviewing submissions from the public on its key proposals with a view to making its recommendations to Government in 2019.
The Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 was passed into law last year and comes into force on 1 April 2019. Businesses should be aware it has significant impacts in the employment sphere and there are numerous amendments to the Employment Relations Act and Holidays Act as a result of its passing.
The Labour Inspectorate has announced a renewed focus on breaches of minimum employment standards for employees. Towards the end of last year the Inspectorate announced that Antares Restaurant Group (operator of Burger King restaurants in New Zealand) had been placed on MBIE’s stand-down list of employers who have breached employment legislation and are not allowed to recruit migrant workers or support working VISA applications. The Burger King case should serve as a timely reminder for businesses to ensure they are complying with employment laws and are not knowingly or unknowingly breaching (or involved in breaching) an employee’s minimum entitlements.
Failing to recognise the correct status of an employee can result in not providing them with their correct entitlements. This was an expensive mistake one employer came to discover recently.