Season's Greetings

The team at Copeland Ashcroft Law wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and would like to thank you for your support during 2017. 

We look forward to seeing you next year.

From 1pm, 22 December 2017 until 15 January 2018, our offices will be closed.

For urgent assistance over the holidays, please call:

Kate Ashcroft, between 27 - 29 December 2018 +64 21 548 856

Public Holidays

Paying for public holidays
The Christmas period can be a challenging time of year for employers trying to manage the minefield that is the Holidays Act 2003 (Act), but it pays to get it right (or risk a penalty award and backpay for up to six years)!

Who is entitled to payment for public holidays?
An employee is entitled to be paid for a public holiday even if they don't work, if the day on which the public holidays falls would “otherwise be a working day” for them.

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

Case law on trial periods continues to evolve.  In light of a recent Employment Court judgment, we have (again!) updated this article, which was previously issued in our InTouch newsletter.

Trial periods are available to all employers for new employees for the first 90 days of employment, and are a helpful tool because they allow employers to dismiss without recourse to a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

Labour hire “contractors” held to be employees

The Employment Court has just released a full bench judgment ruling that two labour hire workers were actually employed by host company LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand Limited (LSG), after they sought a declaration of the same, in order to be entitled to minimum employment protections.  

The employees were engaged by Solutions Personnel Limited (Solutions) as independent contractors, and LSG, which provides catering services to airlines, entered into an arrangement with Solutions whereby it provided labour for hire.

The Rising Sting of Compensatory Awards

Since 2015 we have seen a number of cases before the Employment Court (EC) where it has signalled a need for larger awards for hurt and humiliation compensation under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (Act).  These awards have until recently remained relatively stagnant in the employment context, generally sitting below $10,000.  This stagnation sharply contrasts with Human Rights Review Tribunal awards, with payments of $45,000 and $98,000 ordered in recent cases.

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.

Holiday Pay – how to get it right

Tis the season for holiday pay queries, and we cover tips on public holiday entitlements here.

Cases on holiday pay are increasingly common, with the Labour Inspectorate proactively investigating these and other minimum entitlements and seeking penalties for employers who don’t comply. 

Sexual Harassment, Not Just In the Movies

The media has been in a frenzy after a New York Times investigation uncovered multiple allegations of rampant sexual harassment over decades by Director and Co-founder of The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein.  Mr Weinstein was fired by the board at The Weinstein Company and new allegations continue to come to light.  The Weinstein Company have purportedly known of many of these allegations, yet have only taken action now that they have been made public.

Employees on-call entitled to be paid minimum wage?

The law regarding what constitutes work continues to develop, with a recent Employment Court decision confirming that being “on-call” constitutes “work”, and payment for on call periods should be made at no less than minimum wage.  The case involved South Canterbury District Health Board’s (DHB) six anaesthetic technicians (AT) who, when on-call, were required to report to work within 10 minutes and stayed at accommodation close to the hospital to ensure they were able to do this.  

Paid Parental Leave Increases and Flexible Parental Leave on the Horizon?

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill (Bill) was introduced to Parliament by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway on 8 November 2017. Aligned with the Labour Party’s (Labour) pre-election policies, the Bill proposes to extend protections for families by increasing paid parental leave entitlements to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018, and to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020.