High Court Finds Level 4 'Lockdown' Unlawful for First Nine Days, Considers Lawfulness of Non-Essential Business Closures

The High Court has found that the Government's announcement of an Alert Level 4 'Lockdown' for four weeks from 26 March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic was unlawful and potentially unenforceable for the first nine days (Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 2090). The Court also reviewed the closure of all non-essential businesses, which is significant for business owners hoping to file civil liability claims for lost revenue during this period.
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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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Is Your Overseas 'Pre-Nup' Valid in New Zealand?

If you or someone you know has signed a Prenuptial Agreement, Premarital Agreement, Antenuptial Contract or Contracting Out Agreement in a country outside of New Zealand, then you/ they should find out if and how that Agreement applies in New Zealand. Irrespective of where these types of documents are signed, they generally have a similar purpose; that being to determine the status, ownership and value of assets at the start and end of a couple's relationship. But, are they valid when you have moved away from the country of signing?
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Recent Decision by Employment Relations Authority Concerning Wage Reductions and the Government Wage Subsidy

During the Alert Level 4 New Zealand Lockdown ("Lockdown") we saw many businesses reduce employee wages and apply for the Government Wage Subsidy due to the effect of Covid-19.
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Workplace Personal Grievance Options Expanded Under New Law - Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019

On 27 June 2020 the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019 ("the Act") came into force. The Act aims to provide protection to those in triangular employment relationships. Typically, a triangular relationship exists where a person is employed by a labour hire company/recruitment agency, and works under the control and direction of another entity (a controlling third party).
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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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Navigating New Zealand's New Privacy Arena

In a world that is placing an increasing reliance on technology and value in data, it is hardly surprising that New Zealand's outdated Privacy Act 1993 ("Act") is scheduled to be replaced on 1 December 2020 in its entirety by the Privacy Bill ("Bill") which is currently making its way through the final stages of Parliament.
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Business Debt Hibernation - or Buying Time to Calm the Wolves at the Door

Introduction - This article highlights an important but little-noticed piece of New Zealand legislation hurriedly prepared and enacted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Business Debt Hibernation scheme was created to help companies, partnerships, trusts, or incorporated societies established before 3 April 2020 to cope with and manage certain existing debts where those entities are unable to immediately pay those debts due to the impact of Covid-19, but where their prospects of payment in the future are much better.
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Medicinal Cannabis in New Zealand – An Overview for Getting Started

Medicinal cannabis is a relatively new market and there are ways for you to get involved in the different elements of manufacturing medicinal cannabis products. The first thing that needs to be done is to apply for a Medicinal Cannabis Licence which is issued by the Medicinal Cannabis Agency. This is a lengthy process and requires the applicant to have given their project consideration in certain areas.
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