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2017 Publications

13 December 2017

In current times, businesses are engaging workers in increasingly different ways.

Some industries have moved away from traditional bi-lateral employment relationships while labour-hire arrangements and other forms of triangular employment have become increasing popular.

Businesses enjoy these arrangements as they do not have the obligations of an employment relationship. However, the Employment Court has issued a judgment on a labour hire situation where two companies did not end up with all the benefits they would want.

A labour hire company called Solutions Personnel provided LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand with workers. LSG provides catering services to airlines and has several hundred people working for it. More ...

29 November 2017

Juli Briskman was dismissed by her employer after a photograph of her giving United States President Donald Trump and his motorcade the middle finger became famous.

On October 29, President Trump was leaving the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia after playing golf. A pedestrian gave Trump a thumbs-down as the motorcade drove past. Shortly after, the motorcade overtook a woman on a bike who pulled the middle finger at Trump. A photographer travelling with the motorcade took a photo of the event which went viral on the internet.  More ...

15 November 2017

The nation is watching the Beehive, waiting to see what changes will emerge. It has been an exciting start for the new Government. Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, was shakily elected and Winston Peters served writs on National Party leadership before leaving for an overseas trip as Foreign Minister.  It seems that significant change is afoot in New Zealand. But what about employment law? What is going to change there?  More ...

1 November 2017

Two recent employment cases have given cause for concern about the respect some employers are giving to our courts.

In the case of Enayet Uddin, his employer openly expressed contempt for the "employment authorities". Uddin was employed by HD Security Services in Auckland as a security officer.

It was clear there would be trouble following a series of bizarre actions by his employer.

On commencing employment, Uddin was required to pay his employer $250 for his uniform, but never received it.  More ...

18 October 2017

Inland Revenue is carrying out a massive multi-year "Business Transformation" project which will affect about 3500 employees and result in about 1500 being made redundant.

Christchurch City Council is also carrying out a large restructure due to the re-opening of facilities that have been closed since the Christchurch earthquake.

What these restructures have in common is that the employer plans to use psychometric testing to work out who should be kept on. In the case of Inland Revenue, hundreds of existing employees were asked to undergo psychometric and personality testing, with their jobs on the line.  More ...

6 September 2017

Spring has finally arrived and the countdown is on to the first day of summer when many Kiwis will gather around BBQs in backyards, beverages in hand.

While this is a classic Kiwi experience, people will hopefully be aware that alcohol and the workplace can be an explosive mix.

An engineering firm in Chicago recently had one of their employees, a Mr Makropoulos, arrive at work highly intoxicated. He was told he could not work his shift because he was so impaired.  More ...

23 August 2017

The Chief Executive of one of Australia's biggest accounting associations has been sacked by the board and given a A$4.9 million (NZ$5.3m) pay-out. CEO Alex Malley, faced extended lobbying to disclose his salary to the members of Certified Practising Accountants of Australia (CPA) for some time.

CPA Australia ultimately disclosed Malley's total remuneration to be A$1.8 million a year. The campaign for disclosure was harmful for CPA. In addition to Malley's sacking, the fallout led seven board members to resign within two weeks of each other. More ...

9 August 2017

The election of 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern to the leadership of the Labour Party has captured the headlines across New Zealand.

Mark Richardson, on the AM Show, asked her about her plans to have children, arguing that an employer had the right to know this information from potential female employees.

Accordingly, voters should have the right to know about her plans to have children when preparing to cast their vote in the upcoming general election.   More ...

26 July 2017

An employee, Madalyn Parker, recently sent her chief executive an email saying that she was taking a couple of days off work to focus on her mental health.

Parker said that hopefully she would be back the next week, refreshed and back to 100 per cent.  More ...

12 July 2017

Sonny Bill Williams' red card for a no-arms shoulder charge on Lions wing Anthony Watson has gathered significant attention.

Players who are sent off the field must appear before the rugby judiciary for disciplinary action to be determined. But could Sonny Bill, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) as the employer, Steve Tew the chief executive, or other players in test rugby face legal liability for injuring someone in the course of their duties as a rugby player?  More ...


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Cullen - The Employment Law Firm was one of the first eleven law firms in New Zealand approved to provide employment law services to Government and the public sector.

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