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2016 Publications

21 December 2016

 Pike River families have protested at the closed coal mine and at Parliament. They want professionals to re-enter the mine to retrieve the remains of their deceased loved ones.

What are the merits of their plea and what impact may health and safety laws have had on the decision not to re-enter?  More ...

7 December 2016

In Iceland, women have symbolically stopped working at 2:38 pm, the time during a standard 8 hour day at which Icelandic women say they begin to work for free because of pay inequality. In France, women, along with many men, stopped work to protest at 4:34 pm on 7 November, as for the rest of the year women say they are volunteers.

Our newly appointed Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy recently chaired the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles.  More ...

23 November 2016

Many people, particularly minorities and women, may feel under attack following recent world events.

United States President-elect Donald Trump has recently shown onlookers that repeated sexist comments will not preclude an individual from taking the Oval Office. More ...

9 November 2016

Worldwide the ride-sharing company Uber seems to be getting caught up in wide ranging legal battles, from transport regulations to employment law.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has gone to war with Uber in New Zealand.

It says Uber allows its drivers to operate without the requisite passenger endorsement on their license.

Numerous infringement notices have been issued. Drivers face potential fines of $10,000 for operating without the endorsement in question.  More ...

26 October 2016

Last week 3,000 junior doctors went on strike complaining that the hours they work create an unsafe working environment. Non-urgent services were cancelled and the public were urged to visit their GPs rather than the hospital emergency departments. Other medical staff had to provide essential services.

The New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association has been an active union for many years. Some years ago they successfully campaigned for pay rises for junior doctors because of the low returns they received for long hours worked. Now they are campaigning to reduce those long hours. The issue that district health boards are likely to be facing is if junior doctors reduce their time without a reduction in pay, it could be costly to hire the extra staff needed and difficult to recruit them.

The strike raises two important issues. More ...

12 October 2016

With the possible exception of an All Black’s toilet malpractice, no news story of the last couple of weeks has been bigger in New Zealand than the defamation case taken by Jordan Williams against Colin Craig.

For four weeks we have been reading about the colourful details of the relationship between Craig and his former Press Secretary Rachael McGregor, who featured extensively in the High Court trial in Auckland as well as many other well-known New Zealanders.  More ...

28 September 2016

Are we over-watched and over-listened to by those who govern us or employ us?

Wellington City Council now operates closed-circuit television (CCTV) in the central city which is monitored by volunteers and the police.

CCTV operates in many buildings in Wellington, including hospitals supermarket and malls.   More ...

14 September 2016


Volunteers are the lifeblood of many organisations in our country. Volunteering is often admirable, but when does the use of volunteers cross the line between valid engagement and unacceptable exploitation?

When is a person a volunteer and when are they in reality an employee?  More ...

31 August 2016

A US court held that forcing a funeral home to allow a male transgender worker to wear women's clothing would restrict the employer's religious beliefs.

The recent dismissal of a transgendered employee by her religious employers has caused some controversy in the United States.This raises the question of where the balance should lie between religious freedom and protection from discrimination. More...

17 August 2016

Where an employee has done wrong, and it is sufficiently serious, readers would probably likely agree that an employer should be able to dismiss.

However, it is hard not to sympathise with an employee when they have been dismissed for medical reasons. 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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