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Introducing Alice and Independent Contractors

Date: 06/12/2019

Introducing Alice

 

Alice Anderson (Ngāi Tahu) grew up in a rural Southland town, Winton, before moving to the University of Otago to complete her law degree and arts degree majoring in indigenous Development.  Following this Alice has practiced in provincial firms in both Invercargill and Hamilton.  She is an active member of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, the Māori Law Society, and has previously sat on their national executive committee as a regional representative. 
 
Alice has predominantly practised in employment law since graduating in 2016.  Alongside this she has previous experience in civil litigation, focusing largely on immigration and Māori legal issues, and whilst in Invercargill Alice was junior Crown Counsel.  Over the years however she has realised her true passion is employment law.  In particular Alice enjoys working with employers to incorporate tikanga-based values into their workplace and ways in which workplace wellness can be improved.  She appreciates working with both employers and employees throughout disciplinary processes and dispute resolution to achieve mutually beneficial and cost-effective outcomes.  She is sensitive to the stresses that can arise with these processes and works to ensure her clients feel valued and respected throughout.
 
Alice is thrilled to join the team at Dundas Street and looks forward to meeting many of you as time goes on.  She was recently published in LawTalk sharing her whakaaro and worldview on practising  Rapua te ara tika mōu ake - seek the pathway that is right for you.

 

Independent Contractors

 

 – the new frontier in employment rights?

WHAT’S GOING ON? MBIE has released a consultation document relating to the rights of workers who are independent contractors.  It includes 11 options for rebalancing the power between companies and their independent contractors. 
WHY SHOULD I CARE? If some of these options are adopted it will represent a seismic shift in workers rights in New Zealand, extending employment rights and entitlements, to some independent contractors, and potentially creating a third “worker” category with specified rights different to both employees and independent contractors.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? If you use independent contractors, are a contractor, or are interested in how employment law is developing in New Zealand, make a  submission!
WHEN DO I NEED TO DO IT? Submissions are due on 14 February 2020.

GIVE ME THE DETAIL
There are two groups of contractors MBIE is particularly interested in protecting:

  • Employees who are mis-classified as independent contractors; and
  • Workers in the ‘grey zone’ between being a contractor and an employee, who can be vulnerable to poor working conditions.

There are 11 options outlined, which MBIE is looking for feedback on:

  1. Increase proactive targeting by Labour Inspectors to detect noncompliance
  2. Give Labour Inspectors the ability to decide workers’ employment status
  3. Introduce penalties for misrepresenting an employment relationship as a contracting arrangement
  4. Introduce disclosure requirements for firms when hiring contractors
  5. Reduce costs for workers seeking employment status determinations
  6. Put the burden of proving a worker is a contractor on firms
  7. Extend the application of employment status determinations to workers in fundamentally similar circumstances
  8. Define some occupations of workers as employees
  9. Change the tests used by courts to determine employment status to include vulnerable contractors
  10. Extend the right to bargain collectively to some contractors
  11. Create a new category of workers with some employment rights and protections

NEED HELP? Contact the team at Dundas Street Employment Lawyers.  If this could be critical to you or your business, it is worth making a submission, and we can help you with that process.