News

Myriam Mitchell - New Senior Employment Lawyer - Hawkes Bay

Copeland Ashcroft Law are delighted to introduce Myriam Mitchell as our new senior associate to the Hawkes Bay Copeland Ashcroft Law office.

Changes to employment law? Our post-election predictions

The Copeland Ashcroft Law Team recently presented a seminar roadshow where we discussed some of our top post-election employment law predictions. 

Our Queenstown Team

We are sad to announce that Charlie Arms-Harris is leaving our team, we wish her all the best on her travels.  We would like to introduce Jessica Frame who will be in our Queenstown team.  Jessica will be working alongside Carolyn Moffat for 6 months while we recuit a replacement.  Jessica will still be working alongside Rebecca Laney in our Dunedin office.

 

First decisions decided under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

A year and a half after the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into force on 4 April 2016, we have our first two decisions interpreting the new law.

WorkSafe New Zealand v Budget Plastics (New Zealand) Limited
In this case, a portion of a worker’s hand was amputated after it was caught in the auger of a plastic extrusion machine he was operating.

WorkSafe’s Investigation
Among other things, the following were areas of concern for WorkSafe:

A weighty issue - Fonterra truck drivers who weigh over 150kgs stood down due to safety concerns

We’ve been watching with interest the news around Fonterra’s standing down of truck drivers who weigh over the rating limit for seats, on the basis that, the safety functions of the seat may not necessarily perform to standard in a serious accident.

Questions have been raised around the fact Fonterra had employed the drivers through a stringent recruitment process, and weight isn't addressed in the annual medicals.   Concerns have also been raised about drivers that have a naturally bigger build and would not be able to lose the weight.  

Staff parties are fun – but are they safe?

With the end of the year fast approaching, many businesses will be organising staff parties to celebrate their employees’ contributions. Christmas functions can be a great way to unwind and get to know one another.  But, when alcohol is involved, which it almost inevitably is, there is room for bad decisions, injuries, inappropriate behaviour, reputational damage, and disciplinary issues.

Court guidance on new hours of work law coming - UPDATE

The Employment Relations Authority (Authority) recently escalated the first determination on the new hours of work legislation to the Employment Court (Court) for decision and we have been eagerly awaiting the outcome in the hope it would give us all some guidance particularly in the area of compensation.  Unfortunately we will have to wait a little longer for direction as the Court instead determined there was no availability provision within the Applicant’s employment agreement and therefore compensation was not payable in this instance.

Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill Introduced

On 26 July 2017 the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill (Bill) was introduced into Parliament by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse.

If passed, the Bill will repeal and replace the Equal Pay Act 1972 as well as the Government Service Equal Pay Act 1960 and will also amend the Employment Relations Act 2000.

WorkSafe New Zealand v Wai Shing Limited

Injured worker recieves $336,300 following workplace accident

WorkSafe New Zealand v Wai Shing Limited

Background
In the health and safety space, WorkSafe NZ v Wai Shing Limited is our first glance at a Court topping up the difference between ACC payments and what the worker could have earned were they not injured.  

Getting it right from the start - engaging workers on the right agreement

The Copeland Ashcroft Law Team recently presented a seminar around the country on “Getting it right from the start giving “need-to-know” tips on fundamental employment documentation and processes.

Key take-away points are summarised below: