News

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.

Easter Sunday Trading

In 2016, the Government made changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 (Act) to enable city and district Councils to make decisions on whether shops in their districts could open on Easter Sunday or not. 

Many Councils have decided to allow shops in their district to open on Easter Sunday, and we encourage you to contact your local Council Body if you are unsure whether you are entitled to open or not.

Disciplinary process tips

The Copeland Ashcroft Law Team recently presented a seminar roadshow around the country on “Hiring and Firing”, giving “need to know” tips on undertaking disciplinary processes.  Highlights are summarised below.

In summary, to justify disciplinary action, you must have a good reason and follow a fair process.

Creating and implementing an effective Drug & Alcohol Policy

Kate Ashcroft spoke at the Conferenz 31st Annual Industrial and Employment Relations Conference recently, on creating and implementing an effective drug and alcohol policy.  This article summarises key points from her presentation.