Workplace Law Newsletter: August

In the August edition of the Lane Neave Workplace Law Newsletter:

Procedure when investigating serious misconduct is key

July 2016 has seen a few cases come before the Employment Relations Authority (Authority) highlighting the importance of employers’ following a full and fair process when undertaking an investigation for serious misconduct.

If a case comes before the Authority or court, the onus falls on an employer to prove that its actions were what a “fair and reasonable employer” could have done in all the circumstances at the time the dismissal occurred (s 103A of the Employment Relations Act 2000).

These matters include whether having regard to the resources available, an employer sufficiently investigated the allegations, raised the concerns with the employee, gave the employee a reasonable opportunity to respond and genuinely considered the employees explanation prior to dismissal.

Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter workers get $20,000,000.00 for underpayments

E Tu Union, the Union representing Tiwai Aluminium Smelter (smelter) Union members, has reached a settlement with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) of more than $20 million dollars for years of underpayments.

The workers embroiled in the dispute were covered by three versions of individual employment agreements at the plant. E Tu Union claimed that, since hundreds of employees shifted from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts at the plant about 20 years ago, the company had been incorrectly calculating their lieu day entitlements.

Holiday park in Scotland fined £234,000.00 over death of young boy

Health and Safety penalties in other Common Law jurisdictions’ are particularly relevant to how the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (Act) will be treated by the courts here. While the Act is largely based on Australian legislation, guidance can be drawn from the United Kingdom as its laws are also very similar.

Recent trend in immigration compliance

Our Workplace Law team have encountered an increasing number of queries from employers who have discovered they have been employing staff illegally. These issues have been identified either as the result of internal reviews, or through investigations from the Labour Inspectorate based on “tip offs” to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Read the full newsletter

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, Julia HurrenFiona McMillan, Jackie Behrnes, Siobhan Rastrick, Gwen Drewitt; Holly Swadel
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Nicky Robertson, Hetish Lochan
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew Shaw, Julia HurrenFiona McMillan, Gwen Drewitt

Click here for other Employment Law or Immigration Law articles.

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