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Latest Employment News

  May 09, 2020

Latest Employment News

Latest Employment News

Changes to paid parental leave from 1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020, the duration of parental leave payments will extend from 22 weeks to 26 weeks and the maximum weekly rate for eligible parents will increase from $585.80 to $606.46 gross. The minimum payment rate for self-employed parents increases from $177.00 to $189.00 gross per week, which is equal to 10 hours of the current adult minimum wage.

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Changes to employment relations law 

On 28 June 2020, the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019 came into effect. Triangular employment arrangements involve three parties. This is when an employee is employed by one employer (the agency), but is working under the direction or control of another organisation (the controlling third party) for their day-to-day work. Common examples include ‘temping’, labour-for-hire situations, or secondments.

The law allows employees in triangular employment arrangements to include a controlling third party to a personal grievance they have with their employer, if the third party has caused or contributed to the employee’s mistreatment. This includes cases of bullying, harassment or discrimination by a controlling third party. In this situation, both the controlling third party and employer could be responsible for providing remedies to the employee

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Supporting employees during redundancies

Going through a redundancy process, or any kind of workplace change, is a stressful time for both employers and employees. It’s important that employers follow the right process to reduce the risk of an employee raising a personal grievance. 

It’s helpful for employers to make a range of support available to assist employees through the redundancy process. An employer putting support in place is an aspect of dealing with employees in good faith and following a fair process. Support could include:

  • Keeping in touch with staff,
  • Allowing employees’ time off to prepare feedback to a workplace change proposal or prepare for interviews, or
  • Offering employees training in CV writing or interviewing.

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Hiring overseas workers during COVID-19

During COVID-19, employers who wish to hire overseas workers can request to bring ‘other critical workers’ (previously called ‘essential workers’) to New Zealand.

Employers need to request approval for ‘other critical workers’. These requests are considered on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand. There are separate criteria for short term (less than six months) and long term (six months or longer) workers. Approved overseas workers may need to wait for space in managed isolation, which may delay arrival.

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