Under the current law fines of over $100,000 are common and reparation orders of up to $250,000 made. These are likely to increase dramatically under a new Health & Safety at Work Act proposed in legislation introduced by the Government.
The Act follows the inquiry into the Pike River disaster but will apply to all workplaces.
The proposed Act significantly increases fines and terms of imprisonment for offences… Continue reading
Under new legislation currently before Parliament the Health & Safety laws are changing significantly.
People conducting a business or undertaking have a duty to identify and eliminate all risks to health and safety of their employees, contractors, visitors etc. They must minimise any risks that cannot be eliminated.
If an event occurs they must notify the government of the event, preserve the incident site, and keep records of… Continue reading
The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal because once again the employer failed to follow a proper process.
The employee was employed on a casual basis. She then wanted to go on a course and needed to have an employment agreement to enroll in the course. Instead of providing a casual agreement the employer put her on a fixed term of three months. The… Continue reading
The Employment Relations Authority has held a teacher’s dismissal to be unjustified and awarded $5,000 compensation.
The teacher had taken the marking schedule for an exam into the classroom to discuss student results. When she was called out of the room she left the marking schedule on her desk and students photographed the schedule on their phones.
After the exam was re-sat the teacher noticed similarities to the… Continue reading
An employee has succeeded in his unjustified dismissal claim after the Employment Relations Authority found that there was no 90 day trial provision in his agreement. Even if there was a 90 day trial clause it would not have been effective because he was not given the contract until after he was employed.
The ERA also dismissed the employer’s claim that the dismissal was justified for redundancy as the… Continue reading
An employee has succeeded in his unjustified dismissal claim in the Employment Court. He had lost his claim in the Employment Relations Authority but won his appeal.
He had taken home a $1 blank DVD and was dismissed for dishonesty.
The Court held that taking the DVD was serious misconduct but at the lower end, and a reasonable employer would not have dismissed the long-standing employee. It awarded… Continue reading
An employee’s personal grievance for unjustified dismissal has been upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.
The employer received two letters of complaint, which it raised with the employee, but refused initially to hand copies over to her when requested. It then also investigated further complaints but, when she requested details, it refused saying “she had enough information already”.
The ERA found that the failure to provide the requested… Continue reading
An employee was found to have been unjustly dismissed under a 90 day trial provision because he had already “worked” for a day before signing the agreement.
The worker interview took the form of having the employee meet with the boss and then spend the day doing tasks at the workplace. He was then offered a job and given an agreement to sign.
The ERA held that the… Continue reading
An employee obtained orders for their employer to pay wages owed to them under the ‘garden leave’ provision of their agreement. The employee had resigned and was not required to work out their notice but was put on gardening leave. The employee was then seen driving the competitor’s vehicle while still being paid by the employer.
The Employment Relations Authority dismissed the employer’s claims that the employee had breached… Continue reading
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