Posts Tagged ‘employment’

Time to Update Your Ts and Cs

September 12, 2017

New legislation in force from 1 September 2017

In February the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCLA) was enacted which will repeal a number of commercial statutes and consolidate them in the CCLA. It comes into force on 1 September 2017.

If you operate a business that uses standard form contracts, terms of trade or other such documents which refer to the old laws, you should update those to take account of the new legislation.


Business Briefs

August 1, 2017

It will all come out in the wash: non-compliance with minimum employment standards

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has imposed a significant penalty of $145,000 on Manukau Auto Valet Limited for its failure to pay minimum wages and/or holiday pay to at least 115 of its employees.[1] The penalty was imposed in addition to Manukau Auto Valet’s reimbursement of $96,451 to its employees, which was owed as a result of its non-compliance.

In total there were 322 separate breaches of employment law, each being capable of being penalised with a fine of up to $20,000 that created a total potential liability of $6,440,000. However, as is usual in situations like this, the ERA applied a globalised approach in respect of the breaches and considered other relevant matters such as Manukau Auto Valet’s co-operation. The penalty was reduced to $145,000, which is still a significant sum.


Over The Fence

May 30, 2017

Further implementation of bobby calf regulations

Last year new regulations for young calves were introduced and took effect from 1 August 2016; we covered this in Rural eSpeaking, Winter/Spring 2016.

On 1 February, a new regulation came into force; bobby calves are to be fed at least once in the 24 hours before slaughter (a reduction from 30 hours).

Further regulations are to take effect this year including:

  • Proposed 1 August 2017: Suitable shelter will have to be provided for young calves before and during transportation, and at points of sale or slaughter, and
  • Proposed 1 August 2017: Loading and unloading facilities will have to be provided and used when young calves are transported for sale and slaughter. The facilities must be designed so that a calf is able to walk on or off the transport.


Providing accommodation to your farm staff?

November 2, 2016

It’s not unknown for us to receive a shocked look from farmer clients when we advise them that they are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 regarding the accommodation they are providing to their staff.

These types of accommodation provisions are classed as ‘service tenancies’. They are largely subject to the same rules as any other residential tenancy with a few minor exceptions such as rent in advance and termination notices.

Farmer is working on farm with dairy cows

As an employer or farm owner, you must comply with the same standards as any other landlord and you can be subject to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing if you fail to comply.



May 23, 2016

Computer virus scams

There can be very few of us who have not been rung with the caller saying they’ve noticed your computer has a virus. They give you directions on where to look on your computer, and then helpfully suggest that you download some software and sign up to a service that is meant to keep your computer safe.

And of course there is no virus, but you’ve lost your money and your computer may have been hacked.

To protect yourself from computer virus scams, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has some advice:


Cyberbullying – stopping the trolls

May 16, 2016

In recent years there has been a significant increase in online abuse particularly of vulnerable young people. A high profile example was the 2013 ‘Roast Busters’ case involving teenage boys bragging of sexual activities with girls. This article looks at what remedies are available when cyberbullying takes place.

Cyberbullying has become commonplace with dreadful consequences for the victims including depression and suicide.

In September 2015, a 24 year-old-man was arrested in Denmark after a joint investigation between New Zealand and Danish authorities. The man posted private photos of an Auckland schoolgirl on websites and subsequently hacked the computers of the girl’s family and school.


Changing Landscape in the Workplace

May 2, 2016

New health and safety legislation comes into force in early April. Organisations should always be aware of their obligations and responsibilities regarding health and safety. This is even more so now as new law, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, comes into force on Monday, 4 April this year. A summary of the most significant changes is set out below. We follow this with some practical steps to take to give you and your organisation the best chance of complying with the new legislation.


Over The Fence

April 18, 2016


Over The Fence: Paid parental leave changes ahead, Upcoming employment law changes, Minimum wage review 2016 and New property taxation legislation.


Business Briefs

March 7, 2016


Employment law changes: are you up-to-date?…
the government has introduced the Employment Standards Legislation Bill to Parliament.

Update on financial markets overhaul…
The Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 is in the process of completely overhauling New Zealand’s financial markets laws.

Incorporated societies reform ahead…
There are more than 23,500 incorporated societies in New Zealand that are currently governed by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.


Helping prevent workplace bullying

June 5, 2014

BullyWorkplace bullying is a significant hazard in New Zealand. Not only does it affect people physically and mentally, but it can also disrupt workplaces and reduce productivity. Employers who don’t deal with it appropriately risk breaching legislation such as the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1993.

WorkSafe New Zealand recently released best practice guidelines on workplace bullying. Developed with the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, the guidelines have a focus on both employees and employers responding early before a situation gets out of hand. The guidelines include:

  • An Am I being Bullied? checklist
  • A flowchart of actions for dealing with being bullied
  • A calculator tool for employers to assess the cost of bullying, and
  • A workplace assessment tool that measures organisational culture with a view to prevent bullying.
  • Advice for employees ranges from how to assess if you’re being bullied to recording instances of bullying behaviour to providing a range of low-key solutions. Advice for employers includes information on how to respond best to reports or allegations of bullying, and how to promote a healthy and respectful work environment.

To download the best practice guidelines, go to