Have you updated your employment agreements yet?

All employers need to update their employment agreements for recent legislative changes – have you done yours yet?  Our team has been delivering seminars nationwide on employment agreements and the finer points relating to these changes, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls in relation to tricky agreement clauses.  

Overlapping PCBU duties - what is expected?

PCBUs have a primary duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of workers, and others at the worksite, is not put at risk by its work.  But what happens on a building site where multiple contractors and subcontractors are working at the same time.  Who does this duty fall to?  Simply put, both risk and responsibility lies with each PCBU, and overlapping duties arise.

Disciplinary Investigations: reassurance for employers

The Court of Appeal recently considered what is required of an employer who investigates an employee’s alleged misconduct.  The good news is the decision indicates that the standard expected of employers conducting an investigation does not equate to a judicial enquiry.

Fatigue: a 'new' health and safety issue?

Fatigue can be defined as the temporary inability, or decrease in ability, or strong disinclination to respond to a situation, because of previous over-activity, either mental, emotional or physical.  Fatigue can create significant risks which need to be controlled in the workplace, and can significantly impact on worker ability to perform their work safely.

While fatigue is not a new concept, the law relating to fatigue in a health and safety concept is rapidly developing, and accordingly it needs to be on the radar for employers in this context.

Big $$ awarded by Human Rights Review Tribunal

A recent case in the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT) between former conservative party leader, Colin Craig and his ex-press secretary, Rachel MacGregor highlights the financial implications an employer may incur if they fail to abide by the terms of a confidential settlement.

UPDATED: Trial Periods: What is required and how to safely dismiss

We have updated this article previously issued in Inform, in light of an Employment Relations Authority determination issued in late August 2016. 

In this case, the Authority found that the employer could not rely on the trial period because the relevant clause in the employment agreement did not specify the start date of the 90 day trial period.   The Authority found that it was not clear when the trial period would run from, and did not accept that it was obvious that it would take effect on the first day of the employee’s employment. 

Health & Safety: what's the difference between "hazard" and "risk"?

The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (“Act”) has been in place for several months now, and most businesses are getting to grips with the new terminology and concepts, including the two key concepts of hazard and risk explored in this article.

Informed Leadership in Health and Safety

Health and safety leadership is key to improving organisational health and safety culture, and it needs to be “informed leadership”.  That is, in order to lead health and safety in your business, you need to have a working understanding of the health and safety duties and obligations. 

Failure to adhere to minimum standards

A recent decision by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has highlighted the high financial cost of breaching the minimum employment law standards following investigation by a Labour Inspector.  Employers need to be aware that the Inspectorate is well resourced and proactively looking into minimum employment standards, including record keeping.  Media attention this week on the new statistics that 1 in 10 employees do not have written employment agreements signals that this attention on “the basics” is set to continue.

Charlie Arms-Harris speaks with Jonny Turner on Hokonui Muster about recent legislative changes

Charlie Arms-Harris on Hokonui


Copeland Ashcroft employment law specialist Charlie Arms-Harris recently spoke with Jonny Turner on the Hokonui Muster about the recent legislative changes in employment agreements.