Latest Articles

When a close shave gets a little too close

19 May 2017

by Katherine McDonald, solicitor

It’s no secret that New Zealand has one of the worst health and safety records in the developed world. In 2017 there have already been 16 workplace fatalities in New Zealand. However on the upside, as a whole, there has been significant developments in workplace health and safety in the five years since the Pike River tragedy. We now have a new regulator (Worksafe), new legislation (Health and Safety at Work Act 2015) and attitude and behaviour in workplace health and safety has improved considerably by employees, employers and directors alike. 

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Lesson for employers - 90 days, no exceptions

12 May 2017

by Katherine McDonald, solicitor

The 90 day trial period has been available to all employers since April 2011 and we are repeatedly seeing errors by employers in applying it correctly.

Put simply, if an employee is properly dismissed using a 90 day trial provision they cannot take a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.

Though it sounds reasonably straight forward if any part of the trial period dismissal is incorrect, even if only minor, the employee may be able to bring a personal grievance against the employer.

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Keep calm and make good decisions

05 May 2017

by Mary-Jane Thomas, partner

This morning I was feeling particularly unattractive so decided it was going to be a big make up day. I spent considerable effort on my eyes to detract from the lines around my mouth (women will get this – men ask women over 40).

Having achieved a look which involved a heavy eyeliner on my top lid from a liquid pen I then started thinking about other stuff. I reached for

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Did I Say That Out Loud?

28 April 2017

by Nicole Johnston, solicitor

I think we have all had those moments where we wish we could speak our minds about colleagues, employers/employees and sometimes even clients. But most people recognise that this would be inappropriate, or at the very least you value your job enough not to open your mouth. Unsurprisingly, if you are rude or uncommunicative your employer may be entitled to investigate any incidents and try to improve your performance. Depending on the nature of the incident, it could amount to serious misconduct.

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Employee pays employer for breach of Agreement

07 April 2017

by Riki Donnelly, partner

Employment law is contract law with a twist. The Government has sought to address the power imbalance inherent in an employment relationship through legislation. If an employment relationship were based on ordinary contractual principles then an employer could offer any terms and conditions it chose. Or, if a person were already in employment, the employer could terminate him or her without cause.

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