An international employer has been granted an adjournement of proceedings before the Employment Court due to newly implemented international travel restrictions due to COVID-19. The employee was set to bring proceedings before the Employment Court in order to determine whether they are an employee or contractor.

The employer’s New Zealand based solicitor submitted at the hearing that the adjournment was required in order for the company’s international representative and further legal personnel to attend the hearing, and that their absence would unduly disavantage them.

The Employment Court agreed with the employer’s submissions and adjourned the hearing for eight weeks. The judge explained that given the measures put in place by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the employer’s representatives would require enough time to estabish systems to work from while they underwent the required 14 day isolation upon arrival in New Zealand.

Given the increased restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand how this may impact on a complaint or other proceedings an individual may be intending to bring before a court or tribunal and the impacts any potential delays may have on the case involved whether it be in a family, employment, or other legal context. These impacts should be discussed thoroughly with an individual that is experienced with the affected processess. Be aware that time limits may not be able to be extended, so ensure you comply with them. If you cannot, in an emergency situation, make sure you apply for an extension before the time limit expires.

Alan Knowsley
Litigation Lawyer