Employment Law for Employers

COVID-19 Employment Law Update

These are incredibly uncertain times, and the hardship for employers haven’t ended with the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. We know you may have to make difficult choices to save your business and keep trading, so please don’t make knee jerk decisions. Not following the correct process now could open you up to severe fines and legal consequences down the road.

For advice around redundancies, restructuring or any employment related issues, contact the employment team at Lawhub and one of our Christchurch or Hamilton based lawyers will be able to advise you on the best way forward.

Employment Agreements

The best way to protect your business is with a strong employment agreement. However, if you want to enforce what’s in your Employment Agreement you must make sure the contract is signed and returned to you before the potential employee starts working.

Is your Employment Agreement suited to your business? You might be tempted to use a free online Employment Agreement template, but that could end up costing you more money in the long run. Lawhub can create an Employment Agreement for your New Zealand business to help you manage potential employment issues before they become disputes.

Personal Grievances and Complaints

An employment agreement is exactly that; an agreement between two parties. All businesses rely on cooperation between employers, employees and colleagues to get things done. As an employer, what do you do when someone has a problem with someone else in their workplace?

 

An employee can raise a Personal Grievance or complaints about workplace bullying, sexual harassment, unfair dismissal, discrimination due to race, age, gender, religion or sexual orientation. If your employee comes to you with a problem it’s your responsibility to take action, but you must act carefully. Making knee-jerk reactions against someone could result in more personal grievances. 

 

Responding to complaints and grievances can involve mediation through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), or privately with your employee’s lawyer or advocate.

 

Lawhub can advise you on the complaint process, whether going through mediation with MBIE or privately with your employee’s lawyer. We’ll also keep you informed around possible outcomes, as well as negotiate, represent and mediate on your behalf to help you protect your business.

Dismissing An Employee

Poor productivity, disruptive behaviour, or not fitting in with your company’s culture are all serious issues that demand action. Dismissing an employee should not be your first choice of action, but if asking them to move on is an appropriate solution, there are processes that must be followed to protect you and your business from retaliation. 

 

You will have to justify your actions to the employee to prevent any challenges or personal grievance claims, proving your actions were fair, reasonable and what most employers would have done in the same situation.

 

Again, making knee-jerk reactions around redundancy or dismissal can open you and your business up to serious legal action. Please, contact Lawhub first before taking any action.

 

The Lawhub employment law team can provide you with the right paperwork and process to follow around taking disciplinary action or dismissing an employee to protect you and your business.

Commercial and contract law

Just what are you agreeing to? Have you read the fine print? All New Zealand businesses rely on contracts. Are the contracts that you use fit for purpose and customised for your business? Do you really understand what you’re agreeing to when you sign someone else's contract?

Lease agreements

Starting a business and moving into new premises can be exciting, but what are you agreeing to when you sign that lease agreement? Before you renovate the building, do you have to restore it to its original condition at the end of the lease? Before signing that lease agreement, bring it in to Lawhub for our commercial and contract lawyers to review.

Terms of Trade

All New Zealand businesses need terms of trade. It’s the agreement on how companies do business together. The free online terms of trade templates may not give your business the full protection it deserves when it comes to payment terms, recovering debt or reclaiming goods. If you don’t have terms of trade, or you’re using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ version, ask one of specialist contract law experts at Lawhub for help.

Why trust Lawhub?

Within our Christchurch team, Dee Morgan and Romeo Margaritis act on behalf of employers to protect their businesses and livelihood. They are experienced in many areas of employment law, and are on hand to guide you through the difficult decisions many business owners will face.

You’re the expert at your job, and business owners already have many areas of responsibility. Instead of trying to stay up-to-date with ever-changing employment law regulations, trust the employment team at Lawhub to make sure your business stays protected.