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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The legality (and morality) of unpaid internships has recently received a lot of attention. The most prominent example is that of David Hyde, whose seemingly sorry tale of being forced to live in a tent in Geneva while undertaking an internship at the United Nations, turned out to be a publicity stunt.
But the story highlighted issues about the exploitative nature of some internship arrangements, which appear to be on the rise given the increasing numbers of university graduates outstripping the available jobs.
Ending an employment relationship can be a time of mixed emotions for employees. Depending on the way they feel about the situation, laughing, crying or throwing toys are all within the range of common responses.
There are choices of legal jurisdictions available to employees in many instances. In particular where the employee considers that the reason they have been mistreated is due to discrimination, or relates to a breach of privacy, they can instead make a claim to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
The resignation of a key staff member can be an awkward time for a business. Where it comes out of the blue, questions may arise as to the employee’s intentions, particularly where there is some inkling of an intention to establish a competing business.
The opportunities for employees to harm their employers’ reputations through social media are almost infinite. Employers have struggled to keep up with the fast moving Internet feast, and in maintaining a clear line between what an employee can do in their own time, and the impact on their employment.
Uber is a poster child for this revolution in the way we engage with services on the go. It puts freelance drivers in touch directly with customers who want a ride. It’s disruptive to the incumbent players and it’s refreshing. But the success of the Uber business model hinges on a potentially unstable premise – that the drivers are not employed by Uber.
Dundas Street Employment Lawyers partner Blair Scotland said most employers now had clauses in contracts saying an employee must undergo a random drug test if required.
Employees saying dumb stuff on social media is no longer just a cause for personal embarrassment – it can also have serious employment consequences.
Savvy employers are now seeking to implement more specific non-dealing clauses to restrict employees’ social media activity, for example preventing an employee from sending out updates to their social media contacts or changing their employment status on social media for a certain number of months after the employment ends.
Ensuring that a restraint of trade clause is worded appropriately is critical for any employer or contracting company. When push comes to shove and it needs to be relied on, the employer or principal needs to show that it was reasonable at the time it was entered into. Getting that right is more complex than it sounds.