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.

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:

Applying for a new job.
What you need to know when going for that new job.

Flexible Working Arrangements
Sue Kedgley strikes again! From 1 July 2008 employers may have to accommodate flexible working arrangements for employees who have a child under 5 years, a disabled child or a dependent relative and have been with his/her employer for at least 6 months working the qualifying minimum hours.

Health and Safety in the Workplace
Health and safety laws have changed and there is now provision for employees who are "stressed" as a result of work or the workplace to make claims.Read on about the changes and how they may affect you.

Holidays - 4 Weeks a year
When the Holidays Act came into force almost four years ago, it seemed that one of the most controversial changes - four weeks holiday a year for all employees from 1 April 2007 – was a long way away.

Holidays Act 2003
After more than 20 years the Holidays Act has been amended. There are quite a few changes to get your head around and we hope this article helps!

Managing Personal Grievances
What are personal grievances? How to avoid them and what to do if a personal grievance is brought against you.

Probationary or trial periods in Employment Agreements – Are they lawful?

Restraints of Trade
In the current tight labour market many employers are insisting on restraints of trade in employment agreements. So what are they?

The absent employee - what you need to do
What to do if an employee simply does not turn up to work.

To be a Contractor or not to be...
What's the difference between an Employee and an Independent Contractor? Do I need to pay holiday pay to a contractor, can they bring a personal grievance against my company?

Workplace Bullying
Bullying in the workplace seems to have been the catchcry in the last 3 years- what is is workplace bullying?