Latest Articles

Probationary Periods in Employment Agreements - Should Employers Use Them?

22 May 2019

Now that employers with 20 or more employees do not have the ability to dismiss those employees who are ‘not working out’ under the 90 day trial period clause, they need to decide whether they should implement the less powerful but more labour intensive probationary periods in their employment agreements.

An employer may require a newly hired employee to serve a period of probation to give the employer an opportunity to evaluate the employee’s performance before confirming the appointment.


Availability Provisions in Employment Agreements

21 May 2019

The 2016 amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 introduced rules around when and how an availability provision can be included in an employment agreement. However there has been uncertainty as to how broadly the rules could be applied. The case of Fraser v McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Limited [2017] was the first landmark case to assess whether availability provision rules were engaged or infringed. Since then there has been debate over whether these rules apply to just ‘zero hours’ workers and or whether they apply to all employees.


Increasing Awareness and Protection for New Employees

1 May 2019

Many recent and upcoming key changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) are aimed at strengthening union and collective bargaining rights. They also increase awareness and protection for new employees, particularly where their new role is covered by a collective agreement (CEA).


'Mr Stinky' would fart and walk away

10 April 2019

There are over 300 different euphemisms for “flatulence” – break wind, pass gas, cut one, cut the cheese, bum sneezes, silent but violent, drop a bomb, drop your guts, crack one off, let one rip and of course, plain old farting. It knows no borders, everyone around the world does it and having dogs’ means they’re invariably always to blame. Whilst it’s even the topic of the world’s oldest joke dating from 1900 BC, roll forward to the 21st century where in the workplace, flatulence is often no joking matter and can instead be a source of a personal grievance and bullying.