July Client Newsletter
|President of the Canterbury Westland Branch of the New Zealand Law Society - Graeme Riach
Harmans is delighted to announce that one of our partners, Graeme Riach, has just been elected as President of the Canterbury Westland Branch of the New Zealand Law Society.
This is a great honour and follows some 12 years’ service as a member of the Branch Council. Graeme is the first partner of Harmans to become President of the Branch (or its predecessor the Canterbury District Law Society) and will serve a two year term in office.
During that time he will continue to deliver high quality litigation advice and assistance to our clients. We are very proud of Graeme’s achievement reflecting his experience and reputation in the profession.
|Personal Grievances and Personal Liability - how protected are you?
When an employee raises a personal grievance, their claim will usually be against their employer, rather than individual persons involved in the breach. However, this is not always the case.
When an employer is unable to pay the arrears, the Employments Relations Act 200 ("the Act") provides employees with an avenue to recover wages, or other money payable to them, from an individual who is not their employer.
In addition, a person involved in a breach (who is not the employer) can be liable to a penalty under the Act in circumstances where the Act provides for a penalty (for example, a penalty may be imposed under the Act for a breach of good faith).
Given the potential for personal liability under the Act, it is crucial that officers of entities who employ staff, particularly directors of companies, are aware of these provisions and the potential for personal liability even if they operate their business through a company. We strongly recommend that they seek specialist advice if claims are brought against them personally.
|Important Change to Employee Entitlements – Sick Leave
Attention employers! Forthcoming changes to the Holidays Act 2003 (“the Act”) will apply from 24 July 2021.
The Act has been amended to increase sick leave entitlements for employees. The purpose of this change is to provide employees with greater access to sick leave.
It reflects a recognition, vividly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, that when employees are sick, they need to have adequate leave to enable them to stay at home to reduce the spread of illness.
The main change to be aware of is that an employee’s annual entitlement to paid sick leave increases from 5 days per year to 10 days per year. It is important to note, however, that an employee’s entitlement to 10 days sick leave will only take effect on their first sick leave anniversary date falling on or after 24 July 2021.