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What to Say When?

‘Many of my employees have enjoyed working from home in recent months due to the Alert Level restrictions imposed on our working environment. Now some want to work from home permanently and I am struggling to justify why they can’t after 3 months of being able to do so. I also don’t want to create an influx of requests!’..What can I say in response to them?

Alert Level 2 – Covid Testing, Payments, Work attendance

My employee won’t come to work, my employee won’t test, when do I and when don’t I need to pay my employee? Paying employees who cannot attend work because they have been advised by the Ministry of Health to stay home while waiting for COVID test results.

Triangular Employment Relationships Explained

A triangular employment arrangement is a situation where the employer (the agency) arranges for the employee’s placement or assignment with a third party (the host organisation). It is ‘triangular’ because there are three parties to an employment arrangement, with each party having distinct relationships with one another. Changes to employment law in the past month mean a worker in these triangular situations can now claim a personal grievance against a host organisation.

Privacy Act – What’s Changing?

The privacy Act 2020 comes into effect 1 December 2020. The current privacy laws were last put in place in 1993. A lot has changed since, including the use of the internet as a business tool and to store data. Read more to see what the key changes will be.

Reducing Pay During Level 4 Lockdown: ERA Decisions

Two personal grievances raised in relation to reducing pay during Level 4 lockdown have been heard and decided on by the Employment Relations Authority. The wage subsidy declaration gave many employers the impression that as long as they had used their ‘best endeavours’ to pay their staff at 80% of their normal wages then there wasn’t an actual obligation to pay them anything more than the wage subsidy itself.

Redundancy During COVID-19 lockdown: The first grievance decision

The first case for a redundancy during COVID-19 lockdown has been decided by the Employment Relations Authority. It has cost the employer a pay out to two former employees a total of just over $58,000.

Traffic Stop-Go Controller Sought $80K but Ordered to pay Employer

Yoon Cheol Hong worked for Chevron Traffic Services Ltd as a Traffic Controller from September 2017 until his dismissal in…

Payroll Q & A

Test your payroll knowledge with these tricky questions relating to holiday pay for employees with changed working hours, redundancy pay and contractors on your payroll. If you would like other questions answered in our next Q & A please email them to [email protected]

When a Discretionary Payment isn’t Discretionary

A recent full sitting of the Employment Court (three judges), made a decision on a key holiday pay question: what ‘discretionary payments’ such as bonuses are included in holiday pay calculations. When calculating Holiday Pay the Holidays Act requires “productivity and incentive based payments” to be taken into account. There are however exceptions to this...

Employee or Contractor ? A new case.

Earlier this month the Employment Court decided a Courier Driver operating as an Independent Contractor was in fact an employee. This is not a new issue, and there is well established case law setting out the criteria used to determine whether a person is genuinely a contractor. Although this decision made headlines, it was not a surprising decision when considering the relevant facts.

Wage Subsidy Extension

The extension to the Wage Subsidy has far more clarity than the original, however there are still some areas of potential confusion. The Work and Income website remains the best source of information, and I have highlighted a few of the key considerations rather than repeat all they have said.

Personal Grievances from Temps Possible

Way back, seemingly a lifetime ago, the government introduced the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill. On 27 June this Bill comes into law, and will impact organisations who use temps, secondees or third parties to engage labour.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

If your reaction to yesterday’s description of Alert Level 3 was an awful sinking feeling, this Newsfeed is for you. For some industries and businesses you may be planning for how you can return to work if there is a change to Level 3 next week and there will be different information coming for you.  

Planning for a Return

The government has not said what criteria will be used to determine if we come out of Alert Level 4, although a couple of the factors include the trend and number of new cases, and the source of new cases (community spread being the issue). We have also been told categorically that Alert Level 4 will not be lifted early. The government has however said they will tell us on Monday whether the Alert Level will change. Although not particularly helpful I can understand why. So we are going to have to prepare for all the different possibilities, and communicate this to our teams...

Paying Public Holidays

In short, there is no change to how you pay public holidays for Good Friday and Easter Monday. What may have changed is the rate you pay them at, and/or whether the day is now an otherwise working day for the employee. Here are the basics and the questions that may stem from that....

Key Government Announcements

• Wage subsidy for vulnerable employees in essential services • Payment for Easter Public Holidays • Changes to the Companies Act; Please remember the changes have not yet been made to the Act, and the government has advised they will be retrospective to Friday 3 April. The temporary changes include:...

Wage Subsidy not a Panacea

Yesterday afternoon Jacinda Ardern (who I think has been demonstrating incredible leadership qualities through this crisis), made a statement that riled me and in my view was irresponsible on a number of levels. It related to the publisher Bauer closing its business in NZ. Ardern appeared to make a dig at the company stating they were asked “if they could take up the wage subsidy. They refused.”

Important Things to Keep in Mind

• Minimum Wage Increase 1 April • Changes to hours and pay must be agreed in writing • Wage claims can be backdated 6 years • Distributing the subsidy • Salary thresholds for Skilled Migrant Resident Visas and Essential Skills Work Visas

Cashflow Forecasts and Making the Hard Decisions

I have found the most difficult factor in making any decisions for my business is the uncertainty of how long the close down will continue and when it is lifted, how long will the economic recovery take, and what will customer demand be both in terms of volume and services required.

Subsidy Requirement Changes

On Friday  afternoon the government announced some changes to the wage subsidy, and the declaration form the employer is required…

Important Criteria Clarification for Wage Subsidy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has clarified this afternoon that if a business is claiming the COVID-19 wage subsidy, the workers…

Covid-19 Support Update

The Chapman ER team are available to support you as we continue to work from home. The Government is continually…

Paying Employees for Easter & Anzac Holiday

This year Anzac day will be Mondayised as it falls on a Saturday. Mondayisation only happens if the employee doesn’t…

Economic Rescue Package 

The Government has today announce a substantial economic rescue package in response to COVID -19. For businesses, there are certain…

Trends in Employment Law in 2019 and What’s New for 2020

During 2019, New Zealand employment law experienced many new reforms, which included changes to the 90 day trial period, rest…

Betcha Didn’t Know

It's not always about Employment Relations! On the lighter side, here are some fun facts that we bet you didn't…

Fraud Leads to Prison for Employee

From time to time we assist clients with situations where one of their employees is found to have misused or…

Probationary Periods

Do you have more than 20 employees? If your answer is yes, then you are not able to use a…

Christmas ‘What to Say When’

Q1. My employee sent a text to say they were sick on New Year’s Eve (31 December) and couldn’t come…

Legislation planned initiatives for 2020

The New Zealand Law Society notes that Parliament and government officials will expect a busy 2020, with a large number…

Work trials – Can you use them?

A Café worker was recently awarded $9000 for one day of ‘work’ when she was undertaking a work trial as…

Compensation For Employee Availability

An Employment Court decision has confirmed if employers want their employees to be available outside of their normal working hours,…

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