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Changes To Employment Law

20 April 2018
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The new Government is making key changes to employment law. Whether you're an employer or an employee, it's important you keep up to date with your rights and obligations!

Here are some of the key changes that you should be aware of:

Godfreys Law employment legal changes CHristchurch canterbury business commercial contract

Minimum Wage

From 1 April 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $16.50 per hour. Check that everyone on your payroll, whether they’re paid a salary or an hourly wage, is earning at least $16.50 per hour from April.

Paid Parental Leave

From 1 June 2018, Paid Parental Leave will increase from 18 weeks to 22 weeks. By 2020 paid parental leave will increase again to 26 weeks.

Parental leave is available to all employees having a baby, or employees who will begin permanently caring for a child under 6 years of age, and meet other eligibility criteria. Parental leave can apply to both the pregnant woman, or their partner.

Meal and Rest Breaks

With the exception or you or your employees working in an essential service where set breaks would compromise public safety, employees will be entitled to set 10-minute rest breaks and 30-minute meal breaks.

Unless you come to another agreement with your employee or employer, the more rigid rules will likely apply.

The 90 Day Trial

90-day trial periods may soon be permitted only for businesses with fewer than 20 employees. If your business cannot use 90-day trial periods, employers must make sure dismissing new staff members follows due process – failure to do so could leave you open to a personal grievance.

Workplace Compensation

Instead of paying or receiving monetary compensation for a personal grievance, reinstatement will likely become the primary remedy for unfair dismissal. The employer could be ordered to rehire the employee.

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining and union rights are likely to be restored, including the duty to conclude bargaining, repeal of partial strike pay deductions, and restoration of union access without prior consent from the employer.

Contractor Rights

Contractors may gain rights similar to employees under the Employment Relations Act. Contractor positions may become more like employee positions, with greater job security and other benefits, which would be a significant change.

Your Christchurch Employment Law Specialists

Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, our Employment Law team is ready to help if you have questions about your new employment situation. Contact our employment law expert at Godfreys Law, Brad McDonald on 03 366 7469.