Our lawyers keep up with the latest trends and issues in New Zealand law and business, and regularly publish articles and reports on current topics.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated world headlines in 2020 and is likely to do so for some time to come. New Zealand is not immune from the effects of the virus and just this week the Government announced a $12.1 billion stimulus package to assist employers and the wider economy in coping with the impact of the virus. COVID-19 brings with it a range of employment law issues that employers should turn their mind to as soon as possible.
The Government has released a consultation document which tries to address the long-standing issue of “misclassifying” employees as contractors. This sometimes occurs because employers are ignorant of what constitutes a true principal/contractor relationship under the law. However sometimes it occurs as a deliberate attempt to deprive workers of key employment rights.
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.
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.
Businesses may be aware that change is in the air as the coalition Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill (“ERAB”) makes its way through Parliament. The Education and Workforce Select Committee have recently completed their analysis of the Bill and have recommended it be passed into law, with a few tweaks made. Here are ten key points you should be aware of.
The Government has release its plans for reform of the employment laws. A summary of the areas where changes will be happening are attached.
All workplaces in New Zealand need to comply with the new Health and Safety at Work Act. Existing health and safety systems will need updating across low risk and high risk industries, ranging from small businesses to large corporates. Directors and senior managers have non-delegable duties and personal liability.