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A clear warning for directors of financially distressed businesses

The recent and significant Supreme Court decision of Debut Homes Limited (in liquidation) v Cooper [2020] NZSC 100 has brought a clear and renewed focus on the duties of directors in situations where a company may be insolvent or near insolvent. The strict approach taken by the Supreme Court overturns the decision of the Court of Appeal and held the director to be financially liable for a breach of his duties.

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Privacy Law Seminars – Your World is Changing

Parliament has now passed the Privacy Act 2020 and there will be a number of changes that will affect your business when that Act replaces the existing Privacy Act 1993 from 1 December 2020. Lane Neave is delivering a series of seminars to highlight the most significant changes and give you an understanding of how they will impact your business.

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Potential Changes to Median Wage Rate

Most readers will be aware that in terms of current immigration policy, the median wage rate is an important consideration for Immigration New Zealand (INZ) when assessing Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) resident visa applications and Essential Skills work visa (ESWV) applications. On 26 August 2020, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) published an update noting that the New Zealand median wage rate increased from $25.50 to $27.00 in the June 2020 quarter.

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Ready, Willing, but were they Able?

With the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment overrun with employment disputes arising out of the COVID-19 response, judgements have begun to emerge from the Employment Relations Authority answering some important questions regarding the correct approach to the impact of lockdown on employee entitlements.

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What will the landscape of employment law look like post election?

While it seems from current polling that post 17 October 2020 New Zealand will continue to have a Labour led government , if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing in politics is guaranteed and things can change suddenly. With the election looming we thought we would take a quick look at what the political parties intend to put in place should they end up in power.

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Employment Relationship Problem Update

We have been advised that MBIE’s Mediation Services are inundated with mediation applications as a result of COVID-19 and that delays are to be expected. Employers (and employees) can expect a wait time of up to six weeks before receiving contact about setting down a date for mediation, with the exception of urgent matters (for example if the employee is still employed or there is an urgent interim injunction/reinstatement application).

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Charities: Keeping an eye on your charitable purpose

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has again brought a focus to the charity sector and the courts have again wrestled with the vexed question of what truly constitutes a charity (for the purposes of the law) and, more particularly, at what point along the continuum the Charities Registration Board can de-register an organisation from the Charities Register on the basis that its main role in life is to be politically active.

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Directors’ Fees and Benefits – It’s all about fairness

When authorising directors’ fees or other benefits such as salaries or loans, the Board needs to follow the legal criteria set under the Companies Act 1993 or potentially face personal liability in the event that the company became insolvent. This process if often overlooked by closely held SMEs when shareholders, directors and employees are the same people.

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