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).
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.
A recent landmark Employment Court decision confirmed the Employment Relations Authority (“ERA”) can exercise its discretion to fix the provisions of a collective agreement. The fixing of a collective agreement by the ERA is unprecedented and a first for New Zealand. The Court’s decision released this week was “one of the rare sort” which required a “game-breaker”. The effect of such a determination to fix a collective agreement means that ratification, and signing by the parties, is not required.
It is widely accepted that there is nationwide confusion around aspects of the Holidays Act 2003 (the Act) with many employers, often unknowingly, falling into non-compliance because they misinterpret the Act’s entitlement and payment rules. Employers with employees who work irregular hours are particularly susceptible given the complexity of the calculations required under the Act.