Articles

Employment Law

Christmas Holidays

After a tumultuous year of lockdowns many employees and employers are looking forward to the Christmas closedown period. To help employers and employees navigate this time, we have set out some general guidance and answered your commonly asked questions.
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New Law - Employment and Vaccinations

This week the Government released the Covid-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Bill ("Bill"), it is expected to be passed into law shortly.
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Bonuses and Holiday Pay Calculations

The Court of Appeal recently released a decision Metropolitan Glass & Glazing Limited v Labour Inspector Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2021] NZCA 560 reversing an earlier ruling of the Employment Court regarding short-term incentive payments under the Holidays Act 2003.
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Employment Relations Authority Decision – Dismissal for Refusing Vaccine - Justified

The Employment Relations Authority ("Authority") have issued the first decision in relation to an employee being dismissed for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 (GF v New Zealand Customs Service [2021] NZERA 382).
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The Impact of Covid-19 - Employment Issues

The Government have announced an extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme. Applications for a second round of Wage Subsidy – known as the Wage Subsidy August #2 opened on Friday 3 September 2021.
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Government Financial Assistance Available

Since the Alert Level 4 Lockdown, the Government has announced financial support that is available. We have outlined these (at a high level) briefly below.
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Navigating Employment Issues in Alert Level 4

On Tuesday night at 11.59 pm New Zealand entered Alert Level 4. This is a disconcerting time for employers and employees. We learnt from last time that employment obligations continue as usual, this means that among other things, an employer cannot unilaterally reduce an employee’s pay; an employer must consult with the employee if they are disestablishing their role; an employer must discuss in good faith changes to work arrangements; and if an employee is working the employee must continue to receive the minimum wage. Overall, the key to getting through this period is for both employees and employers to communicate with each other.
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Increase to Sick Leave - Date Confirmed

Last month we advised clients that the Bill to increase sick leave from five days to 10 days had been enacted. The new legislation comes into effect on 24 July 2021. We have have received some questions regarding sick leave entitlements, we have set out the questions below.
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Rocket Lab Ordered to Pay $97,000.00 to an Employee

This week the Employment Relations Authority ordered Rocket Lab Limited ("Rocket Lab") to pay $97,000.00 to an employee for an unjustified dismissal. Mr Owen was employed by Rocket Lab in January 2018 as a Vehicle Test Manager. Rocket Lab did not give Mr Owen an induction, he was essentially expected to 'get on with it'.
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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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