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Call It What You Want

15 August 2018

Defining and understanding what relationship you have with a worker is important as each relationship brings different rights and responsibilities for the parties.

A Dunedin taxi company has been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in wage arrears after the Employment Relations Authority (“the ERA”) found it had been wrongly treating four of its former drivers as independent contractors (rather than employees) in an attempt to save money.

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The Perils of Parental Lending

7 August 2018

It has become increasingly difficult for first home buyers to enter the property market in New Zealand. The amount of deposit required in most regions has increased significantly, with house prices growing at a fast rate in comparison to peoples’ incomes. Banks have put tighter controls on low deposit lending and a flow on effect is large numbers of first home buyers purchasing properties with the help of their parents. This is usually by them either acting as a guarantor on the mortgage or advancing funds as a gift or a loan to help with the deposit.

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Domestic Violence Leave

6 August 2018

The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill will come into force on 1 April 2019. The Bill creates an ability for employees affected by domestic violence to request variations to their employment, and amends the Holidays Act 2003 to create a new type of leave – domestic violence leave.

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National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

27 July 2018

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) set out national regulations to manage the environmental effects of forestry.

The National Environmental Standards (NES) are regulations made under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) which:

  • Set out the technical standards, methods or requirements in relation to matters under the RMA; and
  • Provides nationwide consistent rules by setting planning requirements for certain specified activities.

The effect of NES is that it prevails/trumps both district and regional plan rule except in situations where the NES-PF specifically allows more stringent plan rules.

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The Dough-Throwing Baker

20 July 2018

We frequently remind employers carrying out disciplinary investigations about “process, process, process”. Even where an employer believes they have good reasons to dismiss an employee, a fair and proper process must be followed.

The Employment Relations Authority (“the ERA”) often find an employer’s reason for a dismissal was justified, but the process was flawed, resulting in a unjustifiable dismissal.

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