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Published on July 24th, 2017 | by Two Sparrows

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Parental Leave changes effective 1 June 2017

InTouch: July 2017
Stay InTouch with employment and health and safety law changes


Parental Leave Changes Effective 1 June 2017

Parental Leave Payment

Prior to June 2017, if an employee was entitled to 18 weeks’ parental leave payment, the latest this payment could start was the day that the child was born.  That meant if an employee was using up annual leave prior to baby arriving, and the baby came early, annual leave would stop and the parental leave payments would commence.

The law has now changed to allow employees to use up their leave entitlements prior to the parental leave payments starting, even if this takes them past the baby’s arrival.  Leave entitlements include annual leave, alternative days, special leave or time off in lieu that accumulated during employment.

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Obligations if proving accommodation as part of the Employment

It has long been common for workers working in rural or isolated areas to be provided with accommodation during their employment, but we are also now seeing this type of arrangement increasingly being offered as a perk of the job in all types of occupations and locations.

Queenstown is one example of a town that is struggling to attract and retain staff due to a lack of accommodation available.  We often see employers who offer accommodation neglect the Landlord / Tenant relationship, focussing purely on the employment relationship.  However, employers have legal obligations as landlords to meet where they provide an employee with a property to live in during employment.

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South Island Contribution Visa

On 19 April 2017, the Government announced that it will introduce a temporary residency visa for a period of 12 months only.  The purpose of introducing this visa is to assist a number of individuals who had settled in South Island long term to apply for residency.  The Government has recognised that there are a number of long term workers who currently will not qualify for residency due to the role they perform.

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WorkSafe’s charging documents under scrutiny

The High Court in WorkSafe New Zealand v Talley’s Group Limited has scrutinised WorkSafe’s approach to the detail contained in their charging documents.  The case sets out that WorkSafe must include details of all alleged failings in their charging documents.

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Health and Safety: Infringement Offences and Fees

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (the Act) and its regulations set out a raft of infringement offences, with associated fees, which essentially provide for small instant fines for specific breaches of duty.  If WorkSafe believes on reasonable grounds that a person is committing or has committed an infringement offence it can issue an infringement notice setting out the time, place and nature of the offence and the amount of the infringement fee.

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Free seminar – ‘Getting it right from the start’

Copeland Ashcroft Law invite you to attend one of our free seminars being held in July in the following locations:

  • Tauranga – 27 June at 3.30pm, to be held at The Macau, 59 The Strand, Tauranga
  • Auckland – 28 June at 3.30pm, to be held at the Crowe Horwath offices, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Tower, Level 29, 188 Quay Street, Auckland
  • Hamilton – 4 July at 3.00pm, to be held at the Crowe Howarth offices, Level 3, Bridgewater Building, 130 Grantham Street, Hamilton.  NB: Change of venue.
  • Hawkes Bay – 6 July at 1.00pm, to be held at the Crowe Horwath offices, 208 Avenue Road East, Hastings

Copeland Ashcroft Law and Progressive Consulting will be presenting at these seminars on employment agreement and onboarding tips you need to know to safely employ staff and what you should cover in your policies and induction programme.

Copeland Ashcroft Law will discuss the latest law on these fundamental areas, including:

  • Contractor or employee?
  • What is casual employment?
  • When to use fixed term employment agreements;
  • Need to know tips on trial period clauses; and
  • Hours of work and availability clauses.

Progressive Consulting will present on:

  • What is an employee induction?
  • Why is a good induction so crucial; and
  • What should your induction cover?

If you would like to register to attend one of these seminars please email admin@copelandashcroft.co.nz. Spaces are limited, registration is essential.


Getting it right from the start – engaging workers on the right agreement

The Copeland Ashcroft Law Team recently presented a seminar around the country on “Getting it right from the start giving “need-to-know” tips on fundamental employment documentation and processes.

Key take-away points are summarised here.


Unpacking enforceable undertakings

Since 2011, Labour Inspectors have been able to issue what is known as an “enforceable undertaking” to an employer in order to force them to rectify breaches in employment legislation.  This tool was introduced as an alternative option to litigation and was considered a proactive option to get employers to address issues under related employment legislation instead of seeking remedies for employees through the Courts.

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Author: Kate Ashcroft
For: Copeland Ashcroft Law
SoapBox Group: Tauranga Thursday


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