Workplace Law stays on the pulse of employment law updates in New Zealand.


How do I manage a casual employee?

Employers have to be very careful when employing someone on a casual basis. First, the employer has to ensure that the casual nature of the employment is recorded in writing in the employment agreement. Second, the employer has to continually, during the employment, monitor the employee’s hours of work.


Are you an independent contractor or an employee?

This is not an easy question to answer. In fact, even if you have an agreement calling you an independent contractor, the Court might find, after hearing the facts and legal arguments, that, in all the circumstances, you are an employee.


Can I dismiss an employee for incompatibility?

The three most common reasons for dismissing an employee are:

1. Poor performance

2. Serious misconduct

3. Redundancy

The courts have, however, long recognised another ground for dismissal which is incompatibility.


How does an employee raise a personal grievance?

An employee must give enough details when raising a grievance.

Bronwyn Higgins worked for Spa & Pool Warehouse Ltd in Auckland as a Customer Service Representative. On 22 April 2011 she was dismissed by her boss, Mr Hall.


When is the owner of a company personally liable to an employee?

In a recent case, the Employment Relations Authority held that a company director was personally liable because, during pre-employment negotiations, he did not mention the company, and the employment agreement was not in the name of the company.




Can employees cash up annual leave?

Employees may request to cash up one week of their four weeks’ minimum entitlement to annual leave every year. An employer doesn’t have to agree.


When should a trial be paid?

Essentially, a trial should be on pay where the employer gains an economic benefit from the employee’s work.


Are restraints of trade legal?

Many people think that restraints of trade are not legal and can therefore be ignored. This is incorrect. Restraints of trade are legal providing they are reasonable.