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2014 Publications

23 December 2014

We are now in Christmas week, which is something that will touch readers in different ways. Of course for many the historic significance of Christmas is the birth of Christ and the impact that has on Christians and, to a lesser extent, the society we live in.  More...

9 December 2014

The continuing plight of Karen Hammond has received widespread publicity because of her less than savoury baking.

Hammond worked for New Zealand Credit Union Baywide (NZCU) until she resigned in March 2012.

Five days after quitting, Hammond baked a cake for a colleague which had "NZCU f... you" and other derogatory terms written on the icing.  More...

25 November 2014

Readers will have heard much about Roger Sutton, the Chief Executive of the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) in the newspapers lately.

Sutton was the subject of a complaint of sexual harassment made by a senior staff member at Cera.  More...

11 November 2014

Readers are likely to be familiar with the name of Kristine Bartlett, whose recent victory in the Court of Appeal has been in the news.

Bartlett is employed as a caregiver at a rest home owned and operated by TerraNova Homes & Care in Lower Hutt. She has worked there for about 14 years and receives a wage of $14.46 per hour.  More...

28 October 2014

Readers may have been alerted to the $40,000 awarded to a television and aerial technician after he was discriminated against because of his religious beliefs.  More...

14 October 2014

Readers will no doubt have paid attention to Auckland's plight during the recent blackout.

The blackout was caused by a fire at Transpower's Penrose substation when Vector electricity cables caught fire about 2am on a Sunday. It cut off power to about 85,000 households.

Traffic lights were without power and some businesses were forced to shut down.  More...

30 September 2014

Another election is over. The victors smile, rejoice in their success and develop their plans for the next three years. The vanquished seem bloody, battered and confused. They will need to lick their wounds, regroup for three more years and then try again to woo the voters.

What happened in the election provides many insights into what happens in employment relationships and employment law every day. More...

16 September 2014

The general election is almost here yet the main parties are for the most part staying with the status quo in industrial relations.  More...

2 September 2014

Readers will no doubt have heard about Monet-Mei Clarke's resignation from a KiwiYo franchise in Whangarei.

KiwiYo is a frozen yoghurt company operated by franchisees throughout New Zealand and beyond.

Clarke had only been in her job at KiwiYo for four weeks when she was pulled up by the franchise owner Margaret Lang for saying ‘Kia Ora' when greeting customers. As a result she resigned.  More...

19 August 2014

You may have heard about the plight of Jamal Zaytoun which has been in the news recently.

Zaytoun worked for BIT Technology Ltd. The company owned several stores that provide computer repair services. Zaytoun worked in the Newtown, Wellington, store for several years before he eventually left due to not being properly paid.  More...

5 August 2014

As readers may have heard, sparks were metaphorically flying at one of New Zealand’s largest workplaces recently when an employee criticised a strategic decision made by the employer.

Telecom is due to change its name to “Spark” on August 8.

The name “Telecom” has a place within the fabric of our society and so the decision to change it has been debated extensively in the media.  More...

22 July 2014

Few readers will have heard about the plight of a Ms Gosain who until recently worked for the Punjab National Bank in England.

Gosain raised some concerns with her employer. As a result, she attended a disciplinary and grievance meeting with her employer in an attempt to resolve the issues. More...

8 July 2014

When I started working as a law clerk in a large Wellington law firm, word processing technology was in its infancy.

Letters would be sent to a typist and could be polished a couple of times. Any changes resulted in the whole document being retyped.

Then came the word processor. which greatly reduced the time and resources required for correspondence. Now we have the internet, email and smartphones. All of these developments have impacted significantly on employers, workers and employment law generally.

Businesses have no doubt become more efficient and profitable as a result of instantaneous communications. But the other consequence is that those sending emails tend to expect an immediate response. The more leisurely and considered way of responding within a few days seems to have vanished.  More...

24 June 2014

Readers will no doubt be taking note of the Football World Cup under way in Brazil. The World Cup is regarded by some as the world's largest and most-watched sporting event. While New Zealand is not involved this time, our enthusiasm for the tournament does not appear to have dampened.

The tournament continues until mid-July and many of the games are scheduled for early to mid-morning. There will no doubt be many an employee who arrives late to work or watches games on their work computer. But what does the law have to say about this? More...

10 June 2014

The 2014 general election promises to be hard fought. But besides a potential change in government, readers may be interested to learn how the election will impact on ministerial staff in the Beehive.

About $1 million is being set aside by Ministerial Services to cover the cost of staff "redundancies" in the Beehive after the election, and that is if National is re-elected. If Labour and the Greens take power, then that bill is estimated to be $3.5 million.  More...

28 May 2014

Cricket came to New Zealand from England. Readers who have toured the English countryside will, like me, have seen the young players practising on the village green. The sound of willow meeting leather is part of English folklore.

The culture that cricket emerged from is one of decency and high standards. But the "gentleman's game" seems to have taken a turn for the worse.  More...

14 May 2014

Some readers may have heard of Dr Raj Mattu, a cardiologist at Walsgrave Hospital in Britain, who was dismissed after blowing the whistle on what he believed to be unsafe practices at the hospital.

In 2001, Mattu publicly exposed overcrowding and his fears for public safety in the Cardiac Unit, claiming that there may have been avoidable deaths as a result. In particular, he was alarmed about a policy which required the accommodation of five patients in rooms designed for a maximum of four.

Mattu had earlier raised the concerns with his employer on multiple occasions. The concerns fell on deaf ears, however, so he went public.  More...

15 April 2014

Ageism is an issue that consistently lurks beneath the surface of employment decisions. In many countries, including New Zealand, human rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. However, that doesn't stop it.

Recently Michael Buerk, a BBC news reader, has created controversy with his colourful comments about female television presenters.

Buerk has criticised female television and media workers who complain about losing their jobs when they reach an advanced age. He said it was "fair enough" for television companies to get rid of older employees to "prune the raspberries to make way for new growth".  More...

1 April 2014

A good reference is a precious commodity for anybody seeking work. However, an employee that leaves following a dispute with their employer, be it a personal grievance, litigation or otherwise, is unlikely to have their praises sung to a potential new employer.

Robert Lewis was employed by JP Morgan Chase as the Chief Executive of its New Zealand operations.

By March 2010, things had soured between the employee and his employer to the point that Lewis brought a personal grievance alleging that he had been unjustifiably disadvantaged.  More...

24 March 2014

Many readers who have been unsuccessful in applying for a job will have wondered why they were passed over. A recent decision of the Human Rights Review Tribunal has caused an outcry when an unsuccessful candidate for a position was given the right to view the CVs of other applicants for the same role.

Kevin Walters was employed by Alpine Energy from 1975 until 2008 when he resigned.  More...

4 March 2014

 Readers will be well aware that it is an election year. Undoubtedly everyone in Parliament has an eye on the upcoming campaign. The conduct of MPs will be seen in this light - but how does this affect the workplace?

Election year presents a number of pitfalls so keeping politics out of the workplace as much as possible is usually the best bet. Recent events involving Shane Taurima certainly serve as a cautionary tale.Taurima was employed as the general manager of Maori and Pacific programming at TVNZ.   More...

19 February 2014

Readers have been treated to some great cricket over the summer with the Black Caps on top of their game.

Cricket has also been making news off the field with match-fixing and drinking allegations made against various former and current players.

Three former New Zealand Cricketers, including all-rounder Chris Cairns, are reportedly the subject of a match-fixing investigation being conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).   More...

4 February 2014

The first employment matters of the year have already started rolling in. Two stories readers may be interested in relate to a couple of well-known businesses in Wellington’s food and drink industry.  

Taryne Cullen worked at the well-known fast food outlet Pita Pit on Featherston Street.  Cullen took time off for a knee operation, but when she tried to return she found her name was not on the company’s roster, accessible through a private Facebook page.  More...

Cullen - The Employment Law Firm was one of the first eleven law firms in New Zealand approved to provide employment law services to Government and the public sector.

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