Manager Left to Manage his Own Leave

The recent Employment Court case, Rainbow Falls Organic Farms Limited v Rockell overturned the Authority decision to award $42,793.12 in lost wages and found that Mr Rockell had not shown he had worked the extra weekends or public holidays that were claimed.



Handling Health and Safety Your Way

Health and Safety is critical to running a successful and safe farming business.  Whether you own a Farm, Sharemilk, Contract Milk or work as an employee, we thought it timely to take the time this Christmas to talk about health and safety to ensure everyone enjoys going home safely to celebrate this holiday season. 

Employers – the Legal Bits

Handling Health & Safety Better this Christmas

Health and Safety is key to running a successful business.  We thought it timely this Christmas to remind you about how to comply with your legal obligations and ensure everyone enjoys going home safely to celebrate this holiday season. 


Partying at Christmas

Minimum Wage Accommodation Clarification from MBIE

For sometime, there has been confusion as to what can be included in minimum wage calculations so as to meet the requirements under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (the Act). Many farmers offer their employee’s on farm accommodation and other benefits such as firewood, meat, wet weather gear and milk as part of their employment. Can you include benefits to make up any shortfall in the minimum wage (currently $14.25 an hour)?

Managing the Minefield - Drug and Alcohol Testing

New Alcohol Limits
Changes are coming. The Land Transport Amendment Bill 2013 passed its third and final reading on 30 July 2014.
The Bill decreases the legal breath alcohol limit for adult drivers from 400 micrograms (mcg) to 250 mcg per litre of breath. The blood alcohol limit will reduce from 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, to 50mg.

Trial Periods - Not as simple as they appear

Since 1 April 2011, all employers, regardless of the number of staff they have, have been able to employ a new employee on a 90 day trial period.
Under a 90 day trial period, a new employee can be dismissed within the first 90 days of employment and cannot raise a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal. However, they can still raise a personal grievance on other grounds such as discrimination, harassment or unjustified disadvantage if it’s not related to the dismissal itself.

Immigration NZ is coming down tough on Work Visas

Applications under the Essential Skills category

Queenstown targeted by Labour Inspectors, Immigration New Zealand and the IRD

Over recent weeks a number of businesses in Queenstown have been receiving visits from the Labour Inspectors (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment), Immigration New Zealand and Inland Revenue Department. Some or all of the above departments are targeting business owners to ensure they are meeting their employment, immigration and tax obligations.  
Labour Inspector Visits in Queenstown
If the Labour Inspector pays you a surprise visit, under the Employment Relations Act 2000 they have the following powers:

Salaries and Seasons - An Employment Law Perspective

Copeland Ashcroft Law recently presented at the Primary Sector Conference, New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants in Hamilton.  To read this paper on Salaries and Seasons - An Employment Law Perspective please click on the pdf below

Can you dismiss an employee for lying during a disciplinary investigation?

Can you dismiss an employee for lying during a disciplinary investigation?

The recent Court of Appeal decision, George v Auckland Council [2014] NZCA 209 confirmed that where an employee deliberately lies during a disciplinary investigation into misconduct, further allegations of untruthfulness can be raised as serious misconduct and taken into account to justify dismissal.