The Cost of Exploitation – Farmer Fined $215,000 For Exploiting Migrant Workers.

A large part of New Zealand agriculture depends on seasonal migrant labour to operate. While these workers are a valuable part of our economy, they are not always treated that way. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for NZ businesses to be caught exploiting migrant labour in favour of their bottom line. In a recent decision…read more >

Banter or Bullying? – When workplace banter goes too far.

Workplace banter is often a key part of a fun and comfortable company environment. The ability to joke and have fun at work is what often creates a family environment where people feel like they can be themselves. Obviously, there are limits to this. There are contextual factors constantly at play that govern whether the…read more >

Volunteer or employee? The Gloriavale Case.

Whether someone is an employee, or a volunteer is an important distinction that holds significant legal ramifications. The line between the two is not always clear, however. While Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act (s6) outlines the test for the two roles, it is not always so simple as applying a statutory definition. The…read more >

Employment Agreements – Our Top 3 Considerations

A well drafted employment agreement is important for both parties to an employment relationship – clearly setting out the terms of employment makes addressing any issues or questions that arise later on much easier. In this article we outline 3 things to have in mind when drafting and signing employment agreements.   1. Clearly define…read more >

“Extraordinary number of traumatic events” – Couple Awarded $1.8m in Damages for Workplace Grievance

One of the largest awards in the history of the Employment Court of $1.8 million, was just awarded late last year after a long and arduous case for a failure to meet workplace obligations. The case of Cronin-Lampe v The Board of Trustees of Melville High School [2023] took over a decade to resolve and…read more >

The Landscape of Collective Bargaining in New Zealand is Changing…

Understanding your legal obligations as an employer is vital. One key area to understand as an employer is collective bargaining. This is an evolving and sometimes confusing area of law, but we are here to make that easier. In a recent case, The Athletes’ Cooperative Inc. v High Performance Sport NZ Ltd [2024], the Court…read more >

Can I keep company documents after dismissal?

  As the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and companies can become very unhappy when an employee retains confidential company information after their employment has ended. Company policies often state that such information must be deleted from the employee’s computer after employment with the company concludes. In the case of Wairoa District Council v Simon…read more >

How do you address burnout in the workplace?

  Employees who are overworked or are in a dysfunctional workplace can often suffer burnout. Burnout can significantly affect an employee’s performance and attitude in the workplace, and if not addressed, often leads to the employee leaving the company. The recent Perry v The Warehouse Group Limited [2023] case in the ERA serves as a…read more >

What happens if my employer stops paying me?

  Some employees are treated poorly and suffer harsh consequences at the hands of their employers. This was the case for an employee in the recent case Liao v WSL International Limited in the ERA, where the employee had to pay her own wages, pay a premium to retain employment and faced stressful and worrisome…read more >

Breaks in Employment

  Rest and meal breaks from work are an essential part of enabling employees to work productively in their roles. In 2019, the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2019 was passed, which requires employees to have set meal and rest breaks. Prior to 2019, the law only required employers to give their employees a “reasonable” opportunity…read more >