Articles

Contract Law

Changes on the way for the Holidays Act

Employers and employees alike have long been grappling with the Holidays Act 2003 ("Act") due to its complexity. Difficulties with compliance has resulted in employees receiving incorrect payments, being unaware of their statutory entitlements and employers owing significant amounts of historical underpayments. It is no surprise the Labour Government's announcement to review the Act was welcomed by many.
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Brougham v Regan - The Requirements for a Valid Contract of Guarantee

On 30 October 2020 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in the context of contracts of guarantee in the case of Brougham v Regan [2020] NZSC 118. A summary of the key facts of the matter and important points in the Court's decision follow.
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Can you Require or Encourage an Employee to take the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Recently there have been a number of announcements by large employers overseas making the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for customers and or employees. However, in New Zealand the Ministry of Health has confirmed that it will not be making the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for New Zealanders. Given the current climate, employers in New Zealand are considering their options, including whether to make the vaccination mandatory in the workplace or if even if they can encourage their employees to have the vaccine.
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Managing Employee Leave Over the Christmas Period

It’s that time of year again, Christmas is upon us. Many workplaces in New Zealand will be planning their annual closedown over the Christmas period, or thinking about employee entitlements. We have set out some common questions we are often asked at this time of the year.
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Education Sector Employee Awarded $100,000.00 in Disregarded Sick Leave

In a recent Employment Court decision, Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated v Barnes [2020] NZEmpC 199 an employee was awarded more than $100,000.00 in disregarded sick leave caused by bullying in the workplace.
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Managing Annual Leave Over the Christmas Closedown Period

It’s that time of year again, less than one month until Christmas. Many workplaces in New Zealand will be planning their annual closedown over the Christmas period. We have set out some common questions we are often asked at this time of the year.
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Casual or Fixed Term?

2020 has been a year of upheaval for employers. Now many employers are looking for different ways to employ staff where their requirements have changed.
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Implications for Incentive Payments/Bonuses

Employment Court decision has significant implications for employers in respect of target-based incentive payments, and holiday pay entitlements over annual closedown periods. The Labour Inspectorate and Metropolitan Glass jointly filed proceedings in the Employment Court as they were unable to agree on holiday pay calculations (Metropolitan Glass and Glazing Limited v Labour Inspector, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2020] NZEmpC 39).
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Medicinal Cannabis - Sponsorship and Advertising

Individuals or entities who are involved or are interested in getting involved in the medicinal cannabis industry may wish to use advertising or sponsorship to increase brand recognition. An entity may also wish to advertise its products. There are currently no specific guidelines on advertising and sponsorship of medicinal cannabis. Sponsorship and advertising may, therefore, depend on compliance with the Medicines Act 1981 and whether the company supplies products which have been approved under that regime.
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What is the Difference Between Assignment and Novation?

Assignment of contracts is a fairly common practice in the business world. In an assignment, the person assigning the contract - the "Assignor" - assigns the benefits of the contract the Assignor holds to a new person (the "Assignee") who takes the benefit of that contract "the Assignee". Some contracts may expressly prohibit assignment and some contracts provide that a contract may not be assigned without the consent of the other party. If a contract has no provision relating to assignment, then the general rule is that it may be assigned, with a few exceptions.
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