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December Newsletter

Posted by on 13 December 2018 | Comments

The partners and staff of Harmans wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.


December 2018

Employment Law - Significant Changes!                      

On 5 December 2018 Parliament passed into law a number of important changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000.

The changes that will come into effect the day after the law receives Royal Assent (expected in the week of 10 December 2018) mainly relate to strengthening collective bargaining and union rights and include that:

• Union representatives can now enter workplaces without consent in certain circumstances

• Employees have extended protections against discrimination on the basis of their union membership status

Changes coming into effect on 6 May 2019 give employees more protections and include that:

• Businesses with more than 20 employees will not be able to put employees on 90 day trial periods.

• With some limited exceptions, the employee’s right to set rest and meal breaks repealed by the previous government, is restored

Many employers, particularly those with more than 20 employees, will need to review their employment agreements to ensure that they comply with the new changes. If you have any questions about the changes or if you would like us to review your employment agreement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert employment lawyers.

When can an employer cancel an employee’s shift or require an employee to be available for work?

This article was written by Edward Sharpe-Davidson.

Changes to the rules in the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“the Act”) that came into force on 1 April 2016 restricted the freedom employers had to cancel shifts or to require their employees to be available for work which ultimately may or may not be offered. Initially these pro-employee changes only applied to agreements entered into after the date the changes came into force. Since 1 April 2017 the changes have applied to all employment agreements.

Cancelling shifts

A work shift is defined in the Act as a period of work performed in a system of work in which the periods of work may be continuous or effectively continuous and which may occur at different times on different days of the week. The classic example of shift work is a period of work such as a morning, afternoon or night shift taking place in the context of a 24-hour operation such as a factory or at a fast-food restaurant chain.

Under the Act an employer must give reasonable notice to employees before cancelling their shifts. If reasonable notice is not given, reasonable compensation must be paid instead. The notice period and the right to compensation, must be specified in a written employment agreement.

To read more click here.

  Welcome to our two new Associates

The partners of Harmans are delighted to announce the promotion of Harriet Daley and Rebecca Dempsey to Associates of the firm.

Harriet is an integral and important member of our family law team which has an enviable reputation in all areas arising from relationship breakdowns.

Rebecca has swiftly proved herself to be a valuable asset to our commercial and property team with special expertise in subdivisions. 

Both Harriet and Rebecca have earned their promotion through ability and hard work.

Positive Ageing Expo - October 2018

Our Seniors Team enjoyed meeting everyone who dropped by our stall at this Expo run by Age Concern at Papanui High School.

Partners from the firm also came to the event and chatted to people throughout the day.

We thank all those that entered our prize draw and we were happy to present our winner Richard Guise with the prize pack of the lunch for two at Rosebank Winery, plant and a free will.

We are looking forward to next year's expo and hope to catch up with more of you then.

  Harmans Christmas Hours

Friday 21 December 2018              Office closes at 5.00pm

Monday 14 January 2019               Office re-opens at 8.30am

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