New Zealand’s government ministry responsible for employment matters – the Ministry of Business, Innovation Employment (MBIE) – is continuing to take a tougher approach to non-compliance with employees’ pay. The MBIE has increased the number of prosecutions against employers in 2016. The greatest non-compliance risk for employers is generally where employees have fluctuations in the hours they work, or receive additional pay on top of their normal wages, such as for shift work or commission payments.
New Zealand’s Court of Appeal (the court one tier below the country’s highest court) confirmed that it is not unlawful to disclose a person’s name nor is it offending to their employer, where a court order forbidding publication of those details, has been made, nor is it a “publication” where the employer has a genuine interest in the information.
Several new employment laws (previously reported on) were introduced in April 2016: i) Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 (came into force on 1 April 2016) This law amends the Employment Relations Act 2000, particularly in relation to ensuring minimum standards are maintained, and appropriate methods of enforcement are available. ii) Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (came into force on 4 April 2016) This law replaces the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. iii) Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Act 2016 (came into force on 4 April 2016) This law amends the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, and extends eligibility entitlements, particularly in relation to government-paid parental leave.
i) On 1 April 2016, the adult minimum wage went up by 50 cents to NZD15.25 per hour. ii) Employment confidence rose 3.3 points to 104.8 in the March quarter, according to The Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index.
A recent case demonstrates the importance of employers maintaining minimum employment standards, including maintaining adequate records of employees’ hours of work and their wages. Under the new laws, there are tougher sanctions for serious breaches by employers and increased tools for labour inspectors.
Employment Law Across 27 Jurisdictions 2016, an L&E Global and Clyde & Co joint publication, provides a brief outline of the employment law regime across 27 key jurisdictions throughout the globe.
i) Laws called ‘Regulations’ (secondary forms of law) have been released to assist employers with meeting their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. The Regulations, which come into force with the Act on 4 April 2016, focus on particular activities, risks, hazards and the operation of an industry. A helpful overview […]
For employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions, litigation over disputes related to employment matters is a very real and increasingly significant concern, which applies to every sector of industry, in every region of the world. This comprehensive publication includes contributions from 28 key jurisdictions across 5 continents and will be a valuable resource for all […]
The Government introduced Employment Standards Legislation Bill continues to progress through Parliament. While it was anticipated by many that employment contracts, which provide employees no guarantee of minimum weekly hours of work (‘zero-hour contracts’), would be banned under the new law, it is now expected that these arrangements will be permitted. The proposed law will […]
The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), meaning 16,000 fewer people were unemployed than in the September 2015 quarter. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. Employment has been especially strong for 20 to 29 year olds, with 26,800 more people employed in this age […]