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Employment Law Update

February 25, 2015

Leaving aside collective agreements, the main changes, briefly summarised, are that:

* employers will have more flexibility in relation to meal and rest breaks where this is reasonable;

* amongst other things, the rules relating to restructure and "vulnerable employees" (who include amongst others cleaners and food caterers) will not apply where the new employer (together with any associated person) employs less than 20 employees and they give a warranty to the old employer to that effect – there are other changes as well including as to information to be provided by the old employer to the new, warranties to be given by the outgoing employer to the new employer, and mechanisms to apportion service related entitlements (like annual leave) between the old and new employer;

* any employee at any time can request flexible working arrangements (the grounds on which an employer may refuse a request have not changed);

* clarifies that the duty of good faith does not require an employer to provide an affected employee with access to confidential information about an identifiable person where that would involve "an unwarranted disclosure of the affairs of that individual" – this does not water down very much recent case law requirements as to what information must be provided to employees facing redundancy, especially where a selection process is involved and does not water down the general rule that when an employee is alleged to have engaged in misconduct, they are normally entitled to know the identity of complainants and witnesses.

If you would like to know more, please let me know. The changes will not come into force until around March 2015.

Steven Dukeson LL.M. (Hons.)
Dukeson Business Law
Email: steve@dukesons.co.nzwww.dukesons.co.nz