More changes on their way

Many employers around the country are spending their time getting their head around proposed changes to trial periods and collective bargaining.  In the interim, two minor but important changes have been put forward.

Triangular Employment Bill

The Triangular Employment Bill is a new initiative of the Labour Government, aimed to address so called “triangular” or tripartite employment relationships.

The purpose of the Bill is twofold. Firstly, it intends to ensure that employees employed by one employer, but working under the control and direction of another business or organisation are not deprived of the right to coverage of a collective agreement.

Secondly, it introduces a mechanism to ensure that such employees are not subject to a detriment in their right to allege a personal grievance – by allowing the other business or organisation to be joined as a party to a personal grievance.

The effect of this is that an employee may join as party to their personal grievance, and in addition to their employer, the business or organisation whose control they are working under but who is not their employer. This is an interesting concept and is likely to raise some significant questions in terms of imposing obligations on third parties, who are not party to the employment agreement.

 Changes to the Holidays Act 2003

The Holidays Amendment Act 2003 (Act) is set to change on 31 January 2018 and will effect who can determine a person is medically unfit, or unfit for work.

Under current legislation only medical practitioners, such as doctors, have the ability to issue these certificates. With the incoming Act, if an employer requires an employee to provide proof of sickness or injury for work, medical certificates can be obtained from “health practitioners” regulated under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. This will include: Chiropractors, Dentists, Dieticians, Radiologists, Midwives, Nurses, Occupational therapists, Optometrists, Osteopaths, Pharmacists, physiotherapy, Podiatrists, Psychologists and Psychotherapists.

The changes are part of an omnibus of amendments brought under the Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill. The purpose is to move away from older laws which restricted the powers of health practitioners as a matter of public safety.

The Bill recognises that with current technology and training our health professionals have, “adapted and diversified” and are now, “capable of performing tasks that were previously solely the domain of medical practitioners.” The overall effect will be to create greater public accessibility to health services, particularly in rural areas and, “facilitate innovative and efficient practice by practitioners.”

Workplace Law team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Workplace Law issues, please contact a member of Lane Neave’s Workplace Law team:

Employment: Andrew Shaw, Fiona McMillan, Gwen DrewittMaria Green,  Hannah Martin, Joseph HarropHolly StruckmanAlex Beal, Giuliana Petronelli, Abby Shieh
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Daniel Kruger, Nicky Robertson, Julia StrickettKen Huang, Mary Zhou, Shi Sheng Cai (Shoosh)Sarah Kirkwood, Janeske SchutteLingbo Yu
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew ShawFiona McMillan

Seminar series

The Lane Neave Workplace Law Team is hosting seminars in Christchurch, Wellington, West Coast and Auckland with dates for Rotorua and Queenstown to be announced shortly.

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