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Employment Law

Employment law regulates the relationship between employers and employees in the workplace.

The main legislation governing employment law is the Employment Relations Act 2000. However, other Acts govern various aspects of the relationship between employers and employees, such as the Holidays Act 2003, the Minimum Wage Act 1983, the Wages Protection Act 1983 and the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. Employment relationships are also affected by the Privacy Act 1993, the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Protected Disclosures Act 2000.

We are experienced in all aspects of employment law including the following:

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS

Employment agreements (formerly known as employment contracts) are written agreements between employers and employees governing the terms of their relationship and are required by law. A written employment agreement is required by law for all employees.

The Employment Relations Act specifies certain minimum requirements that must be included in an employment agreement.

We are experienced in:

  • Drafting employment agreements for employers
  • Advising employees in relation to employment agreements.

PERSONAL GRIEVANCES, DISPUTES AND DISMISSALS

An employee who has been dismissed from their employment, or is disadvantaged, and wishes to challenge this may bring a personal grievance. We have considerable experience acting for both employers and employees in the mediation of such disputes as well as conducting proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority in the event that mediation is unsuccessful.

The Employment Relations Authority also has jurisdiction to deal with disputes about the interpretation of an employment agreement and although such proceedings are less common than personal grievances, we are able to assist both employers and employees in proceedings seeking to have a dispute about the interpretation of an employment agreement determined by the Employment Relations Authority.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Health and Safety in Employment Act imposes strict duties on employers to ensure safety in the workplace. Employers who fail to do so, resulting in death or serious harm being caused, are liable to criminal prosecution and significant fines.

We have experience in acting for employers in prosecutions under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

PRIVACY ACT ISSUES

The Privacy Act 1993 provides a means for individuals to gain access to information held about them by an organisation. The Privacy Act applies to employees and information held about them by their employer.

We are able to assist both employers and employees in relation to their rights and obligations in respect of the Privacy Act.

HUMAN RIGHTS ACT ISSUES

There is considerable overlap between the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1993, both of which generally prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, marital status, religious and ethical beliefs, ethnicity and disability, amongst others.

We have experience in advising both employers and employees in relation to discrimination issues.

REDUNDANCY

Redundancy is a situation that arises where the position occupied by the employee becomes surplus to the employer's requirements and can be a ground for terminating employment. Provided the Court is of the view that the redundancy is a genuine redundancy as opposed to a dismissal for other reasons, it will not normally second guess an employer's decision to make a position redundant. The Court will, however, carefully scrutinise the process that is followed leading up to the redundancy.

We have considerable experience in assisting both employers and employees in redundancy situations.

RESTRAINT OF TRADE

In the employment context, a restraint of trade provision aims to restrict the activities of an employee after their employment comes to an end, such as for example by prohibiting the employee from working for a competitor of the employer for a period of time. Such provisions need to be very carefully drafted as they are not always enforceable in all situations.

We can assist employers to draft restraint of trade provisions in employment agreements and also advise employees in relation to such provisions. We are also able to advise employers and employees in relation to proceedings seeking to enforce such provisions.


Link to an Employment Lawyer below

Employment Team

Papakura

Manukau