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Newsletter Articles 2014

15 December 2014

The ground has shifted significantly due to recent decisions of the courts dealing with redundancy situations. The very recent Court of Appeal decision in Grace Team Accounting Limited v Brake confirmed a number of changes which employers specifically need to be aware of, particularly the legal test regarding justification for dismissal in a redundancy situation.  More...


25 November 2014

Employers will be pleased with changes to employment law. The Employment Relations Bill 2013 has just been passed into law by a 62 – 58 vote, as the first enactment of the new Parliament.  More...


22 October 2014

As the typical 9-5 working day becomes increasingly dated in modern times, many employers have found they need to adopt a more fluid approach to managing how their employees work.  More...


15 September 2014

As we near this year’s election, the nexus between statute and protocols imposed by employers has come into focus in a recent Employment Relations Authority decision. The Personal Assistant to the Mayor and Chief Executive of Whangarei District Council nominated an opposing Mayoral candidate to run for office. She was then fired.  More...


11 August 2014

 James Watchorn stole his former employer’s 'secret recipes' for locating oil. He is now going to jail for 30 months and has also been ordered to pay $77,567. This case, the first of its kind and therefore decided in the absence of similar case law, has been a landmark decision by the Courts.  More...


11 July 2014

Drug testing in the workplace is a sensitive issue that is often difficult for employers to navigate. Drug testing will generally be acceptable in a safety-sensitive workplace but even then it can cause angst between the employer and employees. However, as shown in a recent case concerning Carter Holt Harvey, it is imperative that employers adhere to applicable policies and procedures.  More...


9 June 2014

Some of you may remember the case of Dickson v Idea Services Limited. This case had a profound impact on New Zealand employment law. Philip Dickson was a community support worker who performed ‘sleepovers’ caring for people with disabilities in community homes. His case went all the way to the Court of Appeal, which held that Mr Dickson’s ‘sleepovers’ constituted work and that he was entitled to receive at least the minimum wage for every hour he was on site.

The reach of the Dickson case has now been put to the test in a recent matter before the Employment Relations Authority.  More...


28 April 2014

Times they are a-changin in New Zealand’s Health and Safety landscape.

Having received reports from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Tragedy and an Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety, the Government resolved to introduce new legislation to replace the aging Health and Safety in Employment Act. The new laws will be based on the recently implemented Australian Model Law.

The Government’s proposals have only just been introduced to Parliament so the changes won’t come into effect for some time. However it is never too early to start preparing so here’s an overview of what to look out for.   More...


13 March 2014

No doubt you’ve been in the familiar situation where you’re rushing to check-in before your plane takes off. Well a recent Employment Court decision concerning a pilot’s entitlement to rest and meal breaks suggests that it’s not just passengers that are doing the rushing.   More...


5 February 2014

The year has just begun and already we’ve seen a spate of electioneering from our political parties. Markers are already being laid down for what will no doubt be a tightly contested election and paid parental leave is one topic that has been at the centre of the conversation in recent weeks.  However it’s not just politicians grappling with the issue as the Employment Relations Authority was recently asked to hear the case of an employee who was made redundant while on parental leave.  More...


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

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