PUBLICATIONS

Publications

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.

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Stop press! New domestic violence leave soon to come into force

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on February 20th, 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.
Topics: Employment
 

The bare minimum: Minimum entitlements under the microscope

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on February 18th, 2019.    

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.
Topics: Employment
 

Too casual: A costly reminder for employers

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on January 23rd, 2019.    

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.

Topics: Employment
 

Changes on the Horizon: Employment Relations Amendment Bill

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on September 28th, 2018.    

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.

 

A Changing Climate - Don't Get Caught Out In The Cold

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Jeremy Ansell, SENIOR LAWYER on August 13th, 2018.    

Allegations surfaced last year concerning the sexual misconduct of Hollywood players such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, which brought forth the #metoo movement. Suddenly bullying, harassment, and unwanted sexual behaviour has been in the spotlight like never before, even if its existence was never justified.
 

It's Out - Employment Relations Amendment Bill

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER on January 26th, 2018.    

The Government has release its plans for reform of the employment laws. A summary of the areas where changes will be happening are attached.

 

Paying the Price for Decision over Workplace Tantrum

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER on July 12th, 2016.    

Until the robots take over, an essential feature of workplaces will be human interaction.  When combined with the pressures of modern employment, the broad range of personality types can often lead to conflict which an employer will need to step in and resolve.

However, a recent Authority decision is a handy reminder that the employer must act fairly in any steps it takes – as well as being realistic about the level of 
bad behaviour that will justify termination.  
 

Employment Update: Amendments to the Employment Relations Act

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER on May 2nd, 2016.    

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) came into force on 1 April 2016, but many employers may have missed its important changes while coming to grips with the implications of the new health and safety regime.

We summarise the changes below, along with our comments about some potential unexpected consequences they might have.
 

Health and Safety Update: New Regulations Bolster General Duties

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER on April 14th, 2016.    

Over the past 18 months, we have followed the development of a new health and safety regime for New Zealand.  The core duties under that new regime are contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.  While the Act deals in broad duties, detailed requirements for certain key areas and industries are set out in the newly released regulations.  
 

Health and Safety at Work Act: Visual Summary

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER; Claire Godber, SENIOR ASSOCIATE on April 12th, 2016.    

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. 

 

Health and Safety at Work Act: Landlords

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on March 16th, 2016.    

The new Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force in April 2016. This legislation will add a number of new features to the health and safety landscape, which landlords will need to consider.
 
Under the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, commercial landlords owe health and safety duties where they own a building which is used as a workplace.  These duties apply whether the building is used for their own business or leased to another employer. 
 

Health and Safety Update: Franchisors

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on December 1st, 2015.    

We recently published an update on the new Health and Safety at Work Act which comes into force in April 2016.  Under the new Act, business owners will have to take a more hands-on approach to health and safety. Franchisors are in the unique position of having two “layers” of health and safety duties to consider.
 

Health and Safety At Work Act 2015: November 2015 Update

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on November 9th, 2015.    

In early 2015 we reviewed the draft bill overhauling New Zealand’s health and safety legislation and provided comments on the draft bill to our clients.  The select committee made several notable amendments to that draft bill. The amended bill was recently passed as the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.  The Act comes into force in April 2016.  We have set out the key parts of the final version, including our comments about the recent changes, in our update below.
 

Dismissed Employees May Not be Compensated - Even if Procedural Errors

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER on August 10th, 2015.    

Until recently, it was generally accepted that if an employee was dismissed and the procedure was flawed, then they would be able to claim for lost wages (as well as compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings). However, a recent Employment Court case has taken a different approach in a situation where the flawed procedure did not affect the outcome.
 

Health and Safety Law Reform: March 2015

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on March 9th, 2015.    

New Zealand’s Health and Safety legislation is undergoing a major overhaul in response to a renewed
focus on the safety in the workplace. The review was spurred, in part, by the Pike River tragedy and the well-publicised record of the Forestry Industry. The changes will align New Zealand’s approach with Australia’s current law and provide some hefty disincentives to taking a lax approach to Health and Safety.

We have briefly summarised the key changes for you below. Some of them are already in force, but the major changes are scheduled to become active in mid-late 2015

 
 

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