Employment Law

 

Employment disciplinary process:

Effective management of employment and industrial issues is critical to the success of any business.

Employers need to be aware of the complex legislation and regulations governing their relationship with their employee. Our employment law team is experienced in providing practical and effective advice to employers in the following areas:

* Entering into employment relationships and agreements;
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Ongoing monitoring of the relationship, reviews and disciplinary processes and legislative changes;
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Dealing with disciplinary matters and personal grievances raised by employees;
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Advising and circumstances relating to redundancy.

We have experience in dealing with issues in the New Zealand employment law environment and identifying the steps necessary to ensure compliance with employers obligations to New Zealand employment law.

We also have a wealth of experience on advising employees of their legal rights and options throughout all stages of the employment relationship, including commencement (employment relations agreements), disputes arising during the employment relationship and the prospect of personal grievances arising from disciplinary action, harassment and unjustified dismissal and/or redundancy.

 

Terminations:

There is a formal procedure to be followed in respect of terminating an employment relationship. This can be explained fully to you by one of the employment law specialists within The Law Store. An employment relationship can be terminated for many justified reasons but must always follow the legal process prescribed by law.

 

Employment Relationship Act:

It is a requirement of the Employment Relations Act that all employment agreements are in writing, whether they are permanent, permanent part time, casual or fixed term relationships. It is vital for the right type of agreement to be implemented in each case. Mistakes can be costly.

We are able to offer assistance to employers and employees in drafting and negotiating the terms of employment relationship agreements. We can address enquiries concerning the rules surrounding annual leave, holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave, and flexible working hours.

 

Dealing with the Employment Court:

The Employment Court and the Employment Relations Authority have procedures and protocols that must be followed. We believe early intervention is the most cost effective way to resolve employment issues. Disciplinary meetings, employment agreements, personal grievances, mediations, as well as dealing with the Employment Relations Authority can be precursors to appearing in the Employment Court.

 

Employment disputes:

Our meditation skills and procedures can assist employers with issues of this type. Employment litigation involves disputes between individuals and/or an individual and a company.

Disputes can often arise unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time. For these reasons we are conscious of the need to ensure that our advice and representation achieves the most cost effective outcome for our clients.

Should a dispute develop into Court proceedings, our team of experienced litigators will competently and professionally represent our clients in whichever jurisdiction the case is to be determined in. The Law Store has experience in all Courts throughout New Zealand including the Family District Courts, and High Courts. We have arrangements with experienced barristers who we can instruct to represent our clients if the matter is complex, important and being determined in the High Court and Appellant Courts.

 

Employing foreign nationals:

There are specific obligations on employers who wish to employ foreign nationals in their business.

The Immigration Act 2009 came into force on November 2010. With it, employers are under strict obligations to ensure foreign nationals are legally employed. The penalties for non-compliance are significant.

The Act creates the provision for corporate entities (employers) to sponsor visa applications. Sponsorship will also carry the potential for significant obligations. Employers should ensure they are fully informed of their responsibilities.

The Act creates three types of offences relating to illegal work:

* Where an employer employs a foreign national knowing that person has no authority to work under the Immigration Act 2009.
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Permitting a foreign national to work having been made aware that he or she has no lawful entitlement to work.
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Appointing a person to work in a role not authorised under that persons work permit.

An employer can no longer claim a lack of knowledge as a defence unless the employer has taken reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to ascertain the employees entitlement to work. The Act also creates offences in respect of exploitation of workers.

Penalties for non compliance are significant. Breaches of the provisions relating to illegal work carry maximum fines of $10,000 or $50,000. Breaches of the provisions relating to exploitation of workers carries a maximum fine of $100,000 or imprisonment to a maximum of seven years or both.

 

Legal Aid:

Legal aid may be available for some within this sector. Click here for more information.

 
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