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Can casual employees be unjustifiably dismissed?

Can casual employees be unjustifiably dismissed? Casual employment is a concept that is often misunderstood. It is not uncommon for employers to treat these employees as if their employment can be terminated at will. However, as the case of Surplus Brokers Limited v Armstrong shows casual employees still have the same protections against unfair dismissals….read more >

What is good faith in employment law?

Back to basics: What is good faith? If you’ve been involved in any form of employment dispute, you will have heard the words “good faith” bandied around a fair amount. But what does it actually mean? Good faith obligations are enshrined in section 4 of the Employment Relations Act. This section states that good faith:…read more >

Let cooler heads prevail: How to determine serious misconduct

Let cooler heads prevail: How to determine serious misconduct It can be quite shocking when someone loses their temper at work. Unless a workplace has a toxic or disrespectful culture, the importance of professional behaviour (and the etiquette it entails) goes without saying. However, as the case of Harris v The Warehouse demonstrates, it is…read more >

Employee or independent contractor?

Jumbo the elephant’s contribution to the question of employee or independent contractor Whether a particular person is an employee or otherwise (for example an independent contractor) is a question which commonly comes before the Employment Relations Authority – what is uncommon however, is when that question is answered by examining the relationship between a man…read more >

Covert dismissal: Can I be dismissed without my knowledge? 

Covert dismissal: can I be dismissed without my knowledge?  Have I been dismissed without my knowledge? This seems like a straightforward question, as surely you would know if you had been fired. However, sometimes it is not clear whether a dismissal has occurred. The definition of a dismissal, and whether it requires the parties subjective…read more >

Interim Reinstatement: What is it and how does it work?

Interim Reinstatement: What is it and how does it work? Your employee’s employment has come to an end by reason of dismissal. You’ve received a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal. What comes next? The most commonly sought (and awarded) remedies for employees who raise personal grievances for unjustified dismissal are loss of earnings, compensation and…read more >

Secret Recordings in the Workplace 101

What to know about secret recordings in the workplace It may sound like something out of a movie but today almost everybody has the ability to make a high quality audio recording of any interaction we might have in our daily lives. For employees and employers facing uncomfortable situations at work (perhaps a disciplinary meeting…read more >

What’s the difference between trial periods and probationary periods?

What’s the difference between trial periods and probationary periods? At Watermark it is common for us to see employers confusing 90 day trials and probationary periods.  However, from a legal perspective, probationary and trial periods are very different in their form and effect. The purpose of a probationary period is to assess an employee’s suitability…read more >

Can I claim the wages I would have received if I wasn’t dismissed?

Can I claim the wages I would have received if I wasn’t dismissed? For most New Zealanders income is a fundamental part of supporting themselves and their families – if this is taken away unfairly, for example by being unjustifiably dismissed, the law provides a remedy. In the recent decision of Campbell v Value Tyres…read more >

Can my old employer stop me working elsewhere?

Restraint of trade – Can my old employer stop me working elsewhere? Anti-competitive clauses – restraints of trade or non-solicitation clauses as they are commonly known – are often included in employment agreements. However can a previous employer really restrict you from working elsewhere once the employment relationship comes to an end? Fundamentally, the Employment…read more >

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