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Are you on top of 2023's legal updates?

Fair Pay Agreements system is underway!

As FPA 's have an impact on the minimum terms and conditions for all employees in the covered industry or occupation, it is important for employers to get informed on the FPA applications and their progress. Keep up to date with MBIE's Fair Pay Agreements (FPA) Dashboard.

    Reminder: Employers with employees whose work is covered by a proposed FPA must give them initial information about the proposed agreement. 

    NZ's election date is now set for 14 October 2023. Given that parliamentary parties may have different viewpoints on Fair Pay Agreements, unions may either start the race to nail down Fair Pay Agreements, or consider the practicality of getting bargaining underway.

    So far there has been 4 lodged applications (Hospitality-related, Interurban, rural and urban bus transport and Supermarket and grocery stores), and none have yet been approved by the Chief Executive (CE) of the MBIE. If the CE decides to invite public submissions, the application may take 30 working days or longer to process. Then it can take up to 3 months to form bargaining sides, followed by a lengthy and potentially complex process. "It is difficult to see how all of this could be achieved by October", said Susan Hornsby-Geluk

    The Basics - HR Guide to Fair Pay Agreements

    Please note: HR Guides is Member-only resource.


    Holidays Act Review

    The Holidays Act Taskforce made 22 recommendations on a clear and transparent set of rules for providing entitlements to, and payment for, holidays and leave. The Government is aiming to introduce legislation that will implement the recommended changes to the Act in 2023.

    Holidays Act Taskforce and Government Response Factsheet

    Before the bill is passed and comes into force, the implementation period will provide time for employers and payroll providers to understand the legislation. 


    Immigration Reminder

    The new median wage of NZD $29.66 an hour will be adopted into the immigration system on 27 February 2023. This is highly likely to impact businesses’ and organisations’ financial planning for employment.  

    If the migrant worker you offer employment to applies for an Accredited Employer work visa on or after 27 February 2023, the worker must be paid at least the new median of $29.66.


    Upholding Employment Standards in Aotearoa

    Minimum employment right breaches 

    In a landmark judgment, the Employment Court ordered the Samra Holdings group of companies and a person involved in breaches of minimum employment standards to pay penalties of over $1.55 million. There were 120 discrete breaches in employment standards identified in this case. 

    In a recent decision, the Employment Court has ordered the operator of a Greerton convenience store to pay arrears and penalties of more than $28,000 following a Labour Inspectorate investigation into poor record keeping, holiday and leave breaches, and failure to pay the minimum wage. 

    Need a refresh on Minimum Employment Standards?


    Mishandling a performance review 

    Waka Kotahi has been ordered to pay an employee $10,000 in compensation for its handling of a performance review. It was alleged that the manager in this case failed to justify an unexpectedly low performance rating, properly follow the performance and development process and acknowledge or apologise for the distress caused to the employee. 

    HR Guide to Managing Performance Issues


    Contractors versus Employees 

    Businesses may turn to contract workers in face of recession fears. However, it is critical to be clear about the difference between a contractor and an employee to avoid legal breaches. 

    In the recent judgment E tū Inc & Anor v Raiser Operations BV & Ors, four Uber drivers in New Zealand won an employment case ruling they were employees. Although its judgement only applied to the four drivers, it could open the floodgates for other Uber drivers to raise the same status claim implication, along with others in the gig-economy, said Morrison Kent Employment Law team.  

    Define Employees and Contractors