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Check out our fortnightly publication in the Dominion Post, (picked up by Stuff), our latest Dispatch and links to our Radio Interviews at Radio Live. Our latest topics to news and current affairs relevant to you in employment law and human resource practice. 

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  • Assault on James Shaw raises questions about employer responsibilities

    Date: 20/03/2019

    While James Shaw is not an employee, the incident and the fact he was attacked on his way to work raises important questions about what obligations employers have to keep their employees safe, both inside and outside the workplace.

  • When is defacing an ambulance not a firing defence? When it's done by staff taking industrial action

    Date: 06/03/2019

    ..what forms strike action can take.  Traditionally we think of employees who are on strike as not attending work, but the legal definition of a “strike” is far broader than this.  It can include any action by employees amounting to “breaking their employment agreements”.  It can also include attending work but refusing to perform certain duties.

  • At what point does a job skills interview become a job?

    Date: 20/02/2019

    Work trials are common in some industries, particularly the hospitality industry, but employers using them may be pushing their luck if they seek to claim there is no employment relationship in place during the trial.

  • Legal private use of cannabis a challenge for workplace drug testing

    Date: 06/02/2019

    In an employment context this will require employers to have a better understanding of the relationship between use and impairment. Even if cannabis use is decriminalised, it would be a mistake for employees to assume that there will be no consequences of using on their employment. There is plenty of evidence demonstrating that drug use does impair performance, and create safety risks, but there will be a greater need for education about the period of time that this effect is likely to last.

  • Sacked for theft, but was it really what it seemed?

    Date: 23/01/2019

    It should not be a surprise to anyone that stealing from your employer will generally result in you losing your job.

  • Workplace romances can be a tightrope between personal and professional lives

    Date: 28/11/2018

    Despite the ‘taboo’ about workplace romances, the evidence suggests that around 15 percent of us meet our partners through work.

  • Here's how to avoid getting sacked if you speak up about work

    Date: 14/11/2018

    There is a certain glamour that attaches to being a whistle blower. What is obvious is that changes to the Protected Disclosures Act need to be made to ensure that employees are clear about what amounts to a protected disclosure and how they should go about making one.  Parliament also needs to ensure that the regime provides adequate protection for disclosers who follow the appropriate process, but does not encourage or allow employees to otherwise breach their obligations by spreading sensitive and confidential information far and wide.

  • New Zealand's sport culture needs a reset

    Date: 01/11/2018

    Under that Act, organisations have an obligation to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure there is no risk to the health and safety of any person – employee or otherwise. This includes ensuring that individuals are not subjected to bullying and harassment which may impact on their health and wellbeing, including behaviour that may cause psychological harm.

  • Did Brett Kavanaugh deserve 'innocent until proven guilty'?

    Date: 18/10/2018

    Despite multiple allegations of sexual assault, the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh 50-48 on 6 October. It was the closest margin for the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice since 1881. During the confirmation process, a number of commentators claimed that Kavanaugh should be entitled to due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

  • Strippers are vulnerable if they're not employees and not quite independent

    Date: 03/10/2018

    The Authority was of the view that there were certain aspects of the relationship which could be viewed either as consistent with a contractor or an employee relationship.... This group has been described as “dependent contractors” and are typically people who work under the control of a single person or organisation, and who do not enjoy the level of flexibility and freedom associated with truly independent contractors.