Unpacking enforceable undertakings

Since 2011, Labour Inspectors have been able to issue what is known as an “enforceable undertaking” to an employer in order to force them to rectify breaches in employment legislation.  This tool was introduced as an alternative option to litigation and was considered a proactive option to get employers to address issues under related employment legislation instead of seeking remedies for employees through the Courts. 

The use of this tool was recently extended to certain health and safety breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Parental Leave Changes Effective 1 June 2017

Parental Leave Payment

Prior to June 2017, if an employee was entitled to 18 weeks’ parental leave payment, the latest this payment could start was the day that the child was born.  That meant if an employee was using up annual leave prior to baby arriving, and the baby came early, annual leave would stop and the parental leave payments would commence. 

Obligations if providing accommodation as part of the Employment

It has long been common for workers working in rural or isolated areas to be provided with accommodation during their employment, but we are also now seeing this type of arrangement increasingly being offered as a perk of the job in all types of occupations and locations. 

South Island Contribution Visa

On 19 April 2017, the Government announced that it will introduce a temporary residency visa for a period of 12 months only.  The purpose of introducing this visa is to assist a number of individuals who had settled in South Island long term to apply for residency.  The Government has recognised that there are a number of long term workers who currently will not qualify for residency due to the role they perform. 

Who qualifies for the visa?

The worker should:

Janet Copeland speaks on the Morning Report, Radio NZ about the latest pay equity claim

Copeland Ashcroft Law Principal Janet Copeland recently spoke on the Morning Report on Radio New Zealand about the latest pay equity claim.  Listen to the broadcast here

Choosing an employment agreement? One size does not fit all!

Using the right type of individual employment agreement (IEA) is key to managing the risk of misunderstandings, mismatched expectations, and personal grievance claims.  But which one do you choose?

Seeking specialist advice on your IEAs will ensure your specific business needs are addressed, and can help to avoid messy disputes where things go wrong. 

Breach of settlement has consequences

Dispute outcomes negotiated by agreement are commonly and prudently recorded in a Record of Settlement (ROS), signed by a mediator pursuant to s149 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, giving the ROS final and binding status.  ROS's executed in this way are also non-reviewable, and cannot be brought before the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court except for enforcement purposes.

New Meal and Rest Breaks Bill

The Employment Relations (Restoring Kiwis’ Right to a Break at Work) Amendment Bill (Bill) which proposes to reinstate workers’ rights to meal and rest breaks (breaks) at work was introduced to Parliament by Labour List MP Sue Moroney on 11 May 2017.

Employers have right to know about criminal charges

The Supreme Court in ASG v Harlene Hayne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago has confirmed an employer may have the right to know details of charges or offences regardless of any non-publication or suppression orders that may be in place. 

Landmark Pay Equity Settlement

The Government has recently announced a $2 billion dollar package to combat the issue of gender pay inequity in the aged care sector in an historic settlement.  “Pay equity” essentially means that gender doesn’t affect what people are paid, and that women should receive the same as men for doing the same work, or different work but of equal value.