News & thinking

Employment:

Combatting modern slavery – proposed new duties across the supply chain

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It is difficult to believe that slavery still exists in today's society, but the unfortunate reality is, it does. Modern slavery and worker exploitation remains in both the domestic and international supply chains and whilst our current laws…

Returning employees to the workplace

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Vaccination rates are high and we have begun to contemplate herd immunity whilst New Zealand works our way towards the conclusion of the current Omicron outbreak. Employers may now be looking to return their employees to the workplace in lieu…

The End of the Mandate…

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After the decision of Yardly[1], IOX[2] and the wide spread community transmission of Covid-19, we waited with baited breath to see what changes the Government would make to the Covid-19 Protection Framework and the government vaccine mandates…

A significant reform to New Zealand’s labour laws: the Fair Pay Agreements Bill.

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The Government has introduced the Fair Pay Agreements Bill to Parliament this week.  The purpose of the new law will be to provide a framework for collective bargaining for industry or occupation wide Fair Pay Agreements' or 'FPAs' that will…

Easter and Anzac trading restriction – what are retail employers allowed to do?

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Thinking about the Easter/ANZAC holidays? Which ever way you like to enjoy your Easter, retail employers need to be aware of the special rules that apply to shop trading on these days of special significance. Shops are required be closed all…

COVID-19 Changes announced

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What are the changes and what do these mean for your business? This morning (23 March 2022) the New Zealand Government announced significant amendment to vaccination mandates, the COVID-19 Protection Framework and 'My Vaccine Pass' requirements. Following…

Are vaccine mandates under threat?

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As we head into the peak of Omicron, vaccine mandates remain highly contentious and the subject of prolonged protests around the country. Rather than joining the protest, three Police and Defence Force workers have convinced the High Court that…

Income insurance in New Zealand – a saving grace or undue burden?

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On 2 February the Government announced the details of a proposed nation-wide Income Insurance Scheme (IIS). The implementation of such a scheme in New Zealand is a significant reform, potentially the largest since the adoption of the ACC…
Calendar with a pin marking a public holiday

To Mondayise or not to Mondayise, that is the festive season question…

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It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas again and yet last Christmas feels like an eternity ago. This year Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years and 2nd January public holidays will fall over the weekend and will, in some cases, need to be…
Silhouettes of travellers in an airport walking

Case summary WXN vs. Auckland International Airport

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Unvaccinated Auckland International Airport employee granted interim reinstatement The Employment Court has granted an employee interim reinstatement after his employment was terminated for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. His employer,…
Woman wearing a mask getting a vaccination

New law on vaccine requirements in the workplace

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The Covid-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Bill was introduced yesterday and is expected to be passed into law later this week.  The Bill sets out the process an employer must follow to terminate an employee’s employment for failing…
Man putting on a disposible mask

COVID employment law complexities

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Why faster isn’t always better when setting workplace policy. The fallout from COVID has created some of the greatest societal polarisation in living memory, and as New Zealand adjusts to the realities of living with the virus, workplaces…
People line up for COVID tests being given by someone in PPE
COVID-19 Graphic

COVID-19 vaccination – can you make it mandatory on health and safety grounds?

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Organisations have well-known obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers. With public access to the COVID-19 vaccine expected within the coming…
Man lays across couch with legs kicked up reading

Does no work during lockdown mean no pay?

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In late December 2020, the first COVID related Employment Court decision (Gate Gourmet New Zealand Limited and Ors v Sandhu and Ors [2020] NZEmpC 237) was released. The majority of the full court found that employers did not have to pay employees…
Styalised image of woman looking toward the camera with a blue filter over top.

Bullying in the workplace

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This article was originally published on the Legalwise website on 19 November 2020. An employee has recently been awarded $20,000 plus three months' wages as a result of the employer failing to properly address complaints of bullying We…
Graphic design of two people facing the camera wearing masks.

Immigration, Employment and the Tech industry: FAQ in a post Covid-19 environment

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On Thursday, 3 September 2020 our leading experts in employment, immigration and technology law appeared as a panel for IT Professionals New Zealand. As part of this, our experts answered some frequently asked questions around employment, immigration…

FAQs regarding COVID-19 related restructures

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Can an employer change the terms of an employee's agreement unilaterally because of COVID-19? An employer cannot unilaterally change the terms of an employee's employment without having consulted with the employee first. Employers must consult…

Who can conduct workplace investigations?

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What happened? On 4 June 2020, the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA) issued an important decision (1) addressing the issue of whether persons or companies carrying out workplace investigations for employers into employee…

Are you an independent contractor or an employee?

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The test to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor is well established, and it requires a focus on the real nature of the working relationship. In practice, this test assesses the intention of the parties, the level of control…

Has Covid-19 created a new flexible working regime?

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For the better part of 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 has challenged ordinary operations in the workplace. Globally, professionals have had to adapt, improvise and overcome problems that most have never faced before. Many have found this…

Businesses operating at Alert Level 3 and 2: What happens if an employee refuses to return to work?

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As businesses resume operating in Level 3, and with the hope that the  New Zealand Government will announce a return to Level 2 soon, employees may be feeling some anxiety about returning to work. To operate at Level 3, businesses should…

Changes to visa rules, to help with the Covid-19 pandemic

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On 16 April, some visa rules were temporarily relaxed for those working within businesses providing “essential services”.   Employers can submit an application, online, to have migrant workers’ visas amended.   In…

Operational changes for businesses under Alert Level 3

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The Government has announced that Alert Level 3 will commence at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April 2020. At Level 3 some businesses that were not operating under Alert Level 4 will be permitted to operate under strict restrictions. Sectors able…

What you need to know about the Covid-19 Essential Workers Leave Support Scheme

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On 6 April 2020, the New Zealand Government announced a new leave support scheme for employees of essential businesses. The Essential Workers Leave Support Scheme is part of the wider relief package proposed by the Government to address the…

Can employees be made redundant if their employer is receiving Government support?

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The Covid-19 pandemic is causing widespread economic damage across a variety of industries but the Government have made it clear: the law still applies. Is restructuring your organisation the best option? At Alert Level 4, various Government…
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Employment obligations: COVID-19, privacy and working from home

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We answer some frequently asked questions, around employers obligations to ensure their employees privacy whilst working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of my employees has told me that they have possible COVID-19 symptoms. Can…

Travelling to New Zealand: The travel ban and exemptions

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Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has published guidance about the exemptions to the current travel ban.   What is the current travel ban? From 23:59pm on Thursday, 19 March, New Zealand closed its borders. The assumption is that people…

IMMIGRATION: COVID-19 migrant workers

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Migrant workers are very vulnerable right now. The economic landscape is also difficult for employers. Here are answers to some common questions we have received from migrants and their employers.   Can we reduce migrant workers’…

Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations on workplace bullying information access

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The Privacy Commissioner's office has received several complaints regarding employees being denied access to information about bullying investigations arising out of complaints that they have submitted.    As a result, on 28 January…

Coronavirus – Useful steps all employers should consider

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus originating out of Wuhan, China, comes from a family of viruses that includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle…

2019-2020 – Immigration Changes – Past, Present and Future….

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It has been a busy year for Anthony Harper's new immigration team.  There have been a lot of immigration law changes.  Here is a brief overview, and also a summary of what we are likely to see in 2020. March 2019 – Mosque attacks These…

Tis the Season…is what you spend on end of year gifts and functions fully tax deductible?

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As the end of the year draws near it is likely you are considering what to buy for clients, customers and suppliers as suitable end of year gifts.  Alternatively, you may consider hosting a function to thank them for their business and loyalty. …

Do you know what a fair and thorough investigation and disciplinary process looks like?

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There has been yet another Employment Relations Authority case where an employee was found to be unjustifiably dismissed due to flaws in the investigation and the disciplinary process. In this case, a dispatch assistant of a cheese company,…

All change! What is happening with New Zealand’s work visa system?

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The proposed changes to New Zealand's visa system, which started out with a government consultation at the end of last year, are now underway. Work-to-residence visa - significant minimum salary increase Work-to-residence visas are available…

Employees earning commission: Relevant Daily Pay or Average Daily Pay?

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This is a technical update for those interested in all things Holidays Act 2003. It is important for those who pay employees based on commission. A recent Employment Court decision has finally clarified a point of law on the payment of public…

Immigration Alert: Changes to Accredited Employer Scheme

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Immigration New Zealand has announced significant changes to the accredited employer scheme. What is the accredited employer scheme? Why is it helpful? Accredited employer status makes it much easier for an employer to recruit migrant…

Significant work visa changes

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The New Zealand government is proposing a major restructure of the work visa system, so as to increase the financial and organisational burden on employers. Consultations ended on 18 March and the finalised proposals should be announced in June. Licensing…

New “Triangular Employment” legislation comes into force

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The new Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill received royal assent on 27 June 2019.  This legislation provides a statutory entitlement for employees to raise a personal grievance, not only against those who it is employed…

Domestic violence legislation undergoes more changes

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The Domestic Violence – Victims' Protection Act 2018, which was enacted on 1 April this year to provide support to employees affected by domestic violence, is already being altered. Key definitions in the Victims' Protection Act that are…

The ‘Clean Slate’ Act – What you need to know

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Like many millennials, the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 (Act) remains widely misunderstood. It seems that people either grossly exaggerate its power and scope, or reduce its operation to a twink pen for drink driving convictions. Misconceptions…

What happens when a visa is declined?

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Immigration applications are complex. There are multiple requirements to be met, some of which can seem contradictory.  Also, of course, the immigration authorities are as human as the rest of us.  Therefore, what can a migrant do, if he…

Thinking of moving to New Zealand?

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If you intend to move to New Zealand or have recently arrived, you need to be aware of legal issues that affect your ability to buy a home, and also your tax residence status which affects your tax liability in New Zealand, on foreign-sourced…

What you need to know – employment and immigration law changes

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The Employment Relations Amendment Act gained Royal Assent on 5 December 2018 and amends the Employment Relations Act 2000. The Minister of Immigration also announced proposed substantial changes to the immigration system, on 18 December 2018. It…