More on the 90 day trial period

Outline – The predicament of Heather Smith, and particularly the circumstances surrounding her dismissal by Stokes Valley Pharmacy (2009) Limited has become somewhat of a cause celebre for the opponents of the 90 day trial provisions of the Employment Relations Act. Heather Smith claimed that her employer, Stokes Valley Pharmacy (2009) Limited  dismissed her unjustifiably.… READ MORE »

Warning, warning, warning

The cases discussed in this article show firstly that an inappropriate warning may give rise to a claim for unjustified disadvantage and secondly that warnings must not be used simply as a pretext for a planned dismissal. An employer should have a fully worded warning procedure in the employment agreement or in the staff manual. … READ MORE »


An employer can lawfully terminate employment on the grounds of redundancy.  It is essential, however, that the employer goes about it in the correct manner.  Girl Guides Association of New Zealand Inc recently found out the hard way.[1] Pamela Galbraith was the Youth Services Manager from 1996 until 2007.  She was then appointed Program Manager. … READ MORE »

90 day trial period

The 90 day trial period The purpose of the 90 day trial period is to enable employers to take on staff without the risk of a personal grievance claim if things do not work out. A recent Employment Relations Authority case suggests that employers must still take some care when deciding to terminate employment. The… READ MORE »

Misconduct outside the work place

It is now well established that an employee can be disciplined, even dismissed, for misconduct which takes place outside of work hours and the workplace . However, disciplinary action can only be justified if there is some connection between the misconduct and employment. This “connection” can be illustrated by reference to a number of cases.… READ MORE »

Have I got enough to fire him yet?

I doubt whether many employment advocates have not been asked that question from time to time. In my experience, once the factual circumstances have been properly analysed and assessed, the answer will be” “no”. This is primarily because few employers really understand the need for a fair and thorough investigation, whether the issue is one of non-performance… READ MORE »

Employment –Make the agreement fit the facts

Employers who prepare employment agreements frequently make the mistake of using a document that bears little resemblance to the reality of the workplace. Fixed term agreements are used inappropriately.  Employees are referred to as independent contractors and not employees.  Permanent employees are incorrectly referred to as casual employees. In many cases, employers will use a… READ MORE »

Employment obligations on transfer of a business

Outline Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 was introduced in 2004.  Despite that fact, our experience shows that those involved in the sale and purchase of businesses, and, to some extent, their advisers, are either oblivious to the provisions or do not fully appreciate the implications. In November last year, the full Employment… READ MORE »