Employment Law

Employment law covers nearly every aspect of the relationship between an employer and an employee.

At its heart is the agreement that an employer and employee make, the terms and conditions that must be included and the rights and obligations of each party.

Employment law is also concerned with health and safety issues which may arise in the work place, human rights and privacy issues.

It is also about what happens when the employment relationship ends. In fact, disputes over this are the most common reason for employers and their staff taking action against the other in the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court.

Things to think about
Whether you’re hiring or accepting a job, it’s important to have a clear, workable employment agreement to begin with. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t end up in court, but it can certainly reduce the odds. And as we all know, disputes are costly.

What should you think about when hammering out an agreement? The type of work being agreed to is critical, as is the level of expertise that it will be done at. Holidays, sick pay and other ‘time off’ issues need to be agreed on. And you need to state whether the relationship is employer/employee or an independent contract?

These can be tricky issues – and there are many others. It’s important to take advice before negotiations begins, and as soon as any issue arises once the contract begins. The key is to prevent small issues becoming big ones that cannot be resolved.

How can we help
We have an expert team headed up by George Ireland, partner. Talk to us:

• When contemplating an employment relationship. The Employment Relations Act requires that an employee be given a copy of their proposed employment agreement and reasonable opportunity to take independent advice.

• If an employee or employer encounters difficulties during the course of their employment. It is important to sort things out as soon as possible rather than allowing them to fester.

• If the employment relationship comes to an end or the employer or employee feels aggrieved over any issues.

We can advise and help you to negotiate appropriate employment agreements, assist with difficulties during the employment relationship, advise either party on their rights and obligations within the employment relationship and represent you in any mediation, at the Employment Relations Authority or in the Employment Court.

Costs
Because some employment agreements are simple and some complex, it’s hard to give firm ideas of cost. However, typically you can expect to pay up to $1,200 including GST and disbursements.

Legal Resources:

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Health and Safety in the Workplace
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