Employee Relations & IR

Enterprise bargaining; Industrial disputes; Regulatory decisions; Agreements

NEW ZEALAND: New immigration rules: A streamlined process or more red tape?

​​​​​​​On 17 September, the Government announced significant changes to temporary work visas which will have a major impact on employers’ recruitment processes where they hire migrant workers. While most of the changes are deferred until 2021, it will be critical that employers keep abreast of these changes and plan ahead for possible impact on their operations. The…

NEW ZEALAND: When is a fixed term unlawful?

The requirements for fixed-term employment agreements often catch employers out.  To stay on the right side of the law, employers must advise fixed-term employees of how their employment will end, and the reasons for this.  Importantly, the reasons must be genuine, based on reasonable grounds.  The Employment Court has recently provided further clarity on this…

NEW ZEALAND: Further consultation on the Fair Pay Agreements system – your submissions sought

​​​​The Government is now seeking feedback from businesses, employees and the public on options for the design of its intended Fair Pay Agreements (FPA) system.1​​ Feedback is sought in the form of responses to 98 questions regarding aspects of how a FPA system could work in practice, which are set out in a Government discussion paper (the Discussion…

NEW ZEALAND: The government’s proposals for fair pay agreements move forward

After a period of quiet, the Government has revealed plans to move ahead with a Fair Pay Agreements system. On 17 October 2019, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, announced the launch of two consultations, which respectively seek feedback on the following issues: How to design Fair Pay Agreements system to…

NEW ZEALAND: Avoid the Holidays Act headache

With the holiday season fast approaching, many employers may be wanting the gift of new holidays legislation.  The current Holidays Act has proven tricky to comply with for many employers.  Unfortunately, any relief is some time away – at least another Christmas or two.  The Government set up a Taskforce last year to review the…

How to ensure loaded rates of pay pass the BOOT

In June 2018, the Fair Work Commission handed down its decision in Loaded Rates Agreements [2018] FWCFB 3610 (“the Loaded Rates in Agreements Case”). Following the decision, on 16 October 2019, the Fair Work Commission approved the ALDI Foods enterprise agreements for ALDI’s Prestons and Stapylton sites, which both contain loaded rates. In October 2017, 8 applications for…

Federal Government eyes the criminalisation of ‘wage theft’

Recent media attention on the underpayment of employees by some of Australia’s well known brands has increased calls for reform to workplace laws On 19 September 2019, the Federal Government released a white paper on proposed amendments to the current framework Possible changes including further increases to civil penalties under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the implementation of criminal…

New Zealand: Compensation for Employee Availability

An Employment Court decision has confirmed if employers want their employees to be available outside of their normal working hours, then they must pay for their availability, even if they don’t do any extra hours. NZ Post was taken to the Employment Court by the Postal Workers Union, challenging them on the question of whether…