Articles Related to Employment and HR


Dismissal for failing to vaccinate against Covid-19 - Employment Relations Authority has first word
On 1 September 2021 the Employment Relations Authority (“Authority”) issued a decision in GF v New Zealand Customs Service [2021] NZERA 382 where it grappled with the vexed issue of an employee (“GF”) being dismissed from their employment for failing to vaccinate against Covid-19.
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Further COVID-19 relief available for SMEs
Relief is now available for small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) whose revenue has been affected by the recent COVID-19 Alert Level hikes (from Alert Level 1 to Level 2 for most of the country) during February 2021, with applications for grants and subsidies having recently opened on the Inland Revenue and Work and Income websites.
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Employment Court Clarifies Criteria for Fixed Term Employment Agreements

A sincere belief that the circumstances warrant a fixed term agreement will not meet the criteria set by the Employment Relations Act

Fixed term employment agreements are strictly regulated by section 66 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 ("the Act"). If the criteria set by section 66 are not met, a fixed term agreement may be held to be invalid, resulting in the employee being a permanent employee instead.

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Workplace Employment Investigators Require a Licence or Practicing Certificate
There has been a recent, and significant, clarification of the licensing requirements for employment investigators.
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Protecting your Personal Information in the Digital Age

From 1 December 2020, the Privacy Act 2020 (“the Act”) will replace the Privacy Act 1993 (“the 1993 Act”). The Act introduces sweeping reform to promote New Zealander’s confidence that their personal information is secure and treated properly by public and private sector agencies.

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Employment Court widens the definition of gross earnings - Employers beware
Gross earnings provide the basis on which an employer calculates an employee’s annual holiday pay.
If an employer does not get this calculation right based on a misunderstanding of what constitutes ‘gross earnings’, they may find themselves in a situation where an employee’s holiday pay entitlements have been underpaid, resulting in an unexpected liability under the Holidays Act 2003 (“the Act”).
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Covid-19: Know your obligations as an employer
While the number cases of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) in New Zealand remains relatively low, it is now inevitable that the outbreak will have a significant impact on many aspects of daily life. 
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A reminder to chatterboxes - Confidential remains confidential
Parties to a Record of Settlement (“ROS”) may be subject to penalties under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“the Act”) if they breach agreed terms of settlement.
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Breaks legislation – Do employees have to take breaks?

The law regarding break allowances for employees has recently changed.

The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 has amended the Employment Relations Act 2000 to state that:

“an employee is entitled to, and the employee’s employer must provide the employee with, rest breaks and meal breaks”.

Are you up to speed with the new changes and what they require?

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Are You Still Relying on Employment Trial Periods?

Trial periods are no longer available for employers with more than 19 employees

If you are an employer that relies on trial period provisions when employing new employees, you need to be aware that the law has now changed.

If you have over 19 employees, you can no longer use a 90 day trial period and any attempt to use one will not be effective.  A new approach is needed.

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