Articles: by Rebecca McLeod

Good Faith Obligations for Employers

When we act for an employee in a dispute we quite often hear the employer say that they have lost “trust and confidence” in that employee to carry out their job as required.

The opposite can be true, where an employee may say that they have “lost trust and confidence” in an employer to say, keep them safe in the workplace.


Zero Hour Contracts

Availability provisions were in the headlines last year following the reaction of workers to what were termed “zero hour contracts”. These were contracts that did not guarantee any weekly hours for workers, but workers were prevented from working elsewhere.

The law was amended to prevent this and now we see its first application in the Courts. Unfortunately the Employment Court decision has not provided all the answers that we would have liked, but there are some useful points to take away from it.


A Lesson on Suspension

The following decision is a good reminder that Employers need to ensure they follow their own policies and procedures when dealing with Employees.

A Court of Appeal decision involved a bus company (“R”) who suspended an employee (“M”) after he was charged with alleged sexual assault.


Restructuring - genuine proposals must be considered

Restructuring is one area where employers really do need good advice as the following precautionary tale demonstrates.

W had been at Opus for 35 years, working in the HR department. During 2014 she was advised that Opus was beginning a consultation process, with the view of restructuring the HR services in NZ. At the time W was the HR coordinator, which involved handling leave applications, monthly reporting requirements and inducting any new employees. There were four members of the team, with one member - Ms D - being away on parental leave at the time of the consultation.


Trouble at t' Mill

In September 2013 Mr R a long standing employee of milling Company W, lubricated a piece of machinery while it was still running. Unfortunately his hand got caught and his fingers were badly injured.