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Employment law

​Chapman Tripp comments on employment law changes.

Workplace Watch – Issue 11, July 2016

13 July 2016

A busy programme of legislative and regulatory reform is underway in relation to workforce and workplace law. To help you keep tabs on what is going on, we have produced this overview which we will be updating at least quarterly. Policy areas we will be tracking include: employment law, health and safety, KiwiSaver, tax, immigration, ACC and hazardous substances.

Employment standards get a shake up

17 February 2016

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has now been reported back from select committee and the aim is that it will be passed in time to come into effect on 1 April 2106 – the same commencement date as the new Health and Safety at Work Act. Employers should start thinking now of whether there are any implications for their business. All new employment agreements will have to comply immediately with the new standards. Existing agreements will have a transition period of 12 months.

Government to zero in on zero hour contracts

13 July 2015

The Government will legislate to require employers to commit to a minimum number of hours where the employee is expected to be on call. Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse characterised the move as requiring a “principle of mutual obligation” in an employment relationship.

Employment Relations Amendment Act in force tomorrow

05 March 2015

The long awaited changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 will be in force on Friday, 6 March 2015. Most will likely be welcomed by employers so this may be a timely opportunity to revisit your employment agreements and practices to ensure that they are compliant. This is particularly so if you will be engaged in collective bargaining or restructuring this year.

Law change creates more flexible labour market

31 October 2014

The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit. The Act, which will come into effect four months after it receives the Royal Assent, is the first piece of legislation to be passed in the National Government’s third term. We summarise the main provisions.

New workplace rules: key points

04 April 2011

The Government’s employment law changes came into effect on 1 April 2011. This Brief Counsel focuses on the key practical issues that flow from the new amendments. This advice is necessarily generic and is not a substitute for specific advice in relation to your particular circumstances.

New employment and holidays law passed

25 November 2010

The amendments to the Employment Relations Act and Holidays Act were passed by Parliament yesterday and now only need the royal assent to become law, likely to be early next week. This Brief Counsel summarises the key additional policy changes since our earlier publications.

The 90-day trial period - an opportunity to fire at will?

05 October 2010

The Government’s decision to extend the 90 day trial period for new employees to all workplaces from 1 April next year has generated strong political debate and condemnation from the union movement.

90 day trial not a "fire at will" provisionpodcast

31 August 2010

Chapman Tripp Principal Geoff Bevan says the 90 day probation scheme does not give employers the ability to fire at will, after the Employment Court found a pharmacy worker Heather Smith had been unjustifiably dismissed three weeks after signing a contract for employment.

Caution for employers in court decision on 90 day trial period

27 August 2010

The Employment Court, in the first significant case dealing with the 90 day trial period, has sent an implied warning to employers that they need to be very careful in how they use the provision. This Brief Counsel looks at the decision and examines its implications.

New workplace rules on the way

20 August 2010

Two Bills giving effect to the Government’s package of workplace changes recently passed their first reading, and were sent to select committee. Public submissions on the Employment Relations Bill close on 13 September 2010, with submissions on the Holidays Amendment Bill closing on 17 September 2010. A select committee report is expected in early November. This Brief Counsel provides a user-friendly guide to the Employment Relations Bill and Holidays Amendment Bill both of which are scheduled to come into force on 1 April next year.

Labour law changes will bring improvement for employers

20 July 2010

The employment law changes announced by the Prime Minister at the weekend are not radical but will bring some real improvements for employers. This Brief Counsel looks at the reform agenda and, although details are light so far, provides a preliminary assessment of some of the likely implications.

Employment and workplace relations under National

13 November 2008

The incoming National administration isn’t promising wholesale changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000. National’s proposed reforms are targeting five key areas.


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