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2010 Publications

6 December 2010

The round of Christmas parties in the district is now in full swing. Have you ever greeted your employees or co-workers with a peck on the cheek or did you get carried away at that work function and make a sexual innuendo in jest? Beware the cost may be high.  More...

22 November 2010

The Government passed a special law, with The Hobbit in mind, to say that if film production workers are called "contractors" in their employment agreement then that is what they are. They cannot claim they are really "employees".  Two recent cases in the hospitality sector make plain why the Government was wise in targeting just the film industry and not making the law one of universal application.  More...

26 October 2010

The case concerning Ontrack, Allied and a member of the work gang may have huge ramifications for all temping agencies and their clients.  More...

11 October 2010

The current public argument between actors and Hollywood film companies through Peter Jackson, in relation to the upcoming Hobbit film, contains age-old themes.

The themes debated include the benefits and difficulties associated with unionism. They include the fact that we live in an international marketplace, and they include the issue of whether people who are paid for their labour should be classified as employees or contractors.  More...

27 September 2010

Two ship workers were recently denied interim reinstatement after being dismissed by the same employer in the course of a drug-use investigation.  More...

11 September 2010

The reinstatement of two Customs officers allegedly involved in leaking sensitive information about a colleague to media highlights the issues around broken-down employment relationships. More...

30 August 2010

Last year the Government introduced the 90-day trial period. It is a law that many may have thought allowed employers to dismiss new employees without risk of a personal grievance. Wellington woman Heather Smith has driven a hole through that theory in a case recently decided by the Employment Court.

It appears the flagship 90-day legislation has struck an iceberg and taken on considerable water. This is despite publicity surrounding the law and the significance attributed to it by the Government.  More...

14 August 2010

A recent Employment Court decision upheld the reinstatement of a court employee, despite finding she was guilty of serious misconduct.

The decision highlights the difference between the current test for dismissal and three of the new laws proposed by the Government that will alter the test and this area of the law generally. Under the proposed changes this decision would almost certainly have gone the other way.  More...

31 July 2010

A Court of Appeal decision upholding workers' rights to an extra week's long-service leave above the legal minimum four weeks may encourage other workers to have leave reinstated that was removed when the Holidays Act came into force. View article (pdf 121kb)

30 July 2010

Helen Kelly, the president of the Council of Trade Unions, wrote to the prime minister this week announcing what The Dominion Post called "a divorce between unions and the government". The letter was prompted by the announcement of legislative change by the National Government in the employment law area.

It seems that industrial relations will once again be a key issue in the divide between National and Labour. In fact, there are almost 40 proposed changes to employment law as it stands in the Government's various announcements. Overall, the changes clearly favour employers, as one would expect from a National government.  More...


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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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