Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Significant Employment Case A Heads-Up for Employers

30 April 2014

Significant Employment Case A Heads-Up for Employers

An award of over $90,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has substantial implications for businesses where workers live on site.

Nelson man Keith Hill has just won his case for unjustifiable dismissal and unpaid wages in the ERA. He lived and worked on the premises of Riverview Holiday Park and Café in Murchison.

Keith Hill was employed as the Manager for two years until February 2013. An award of $69,561.25 has been made to Mr Hill for unpaid wages, and a total of $22,120.00 in compensation for hurt and humiliation and wages lost since his dismissal.

Keith Hill’s lawyer, Nick Mason of Pitt & Moore, says the ERA judgement is significant because it is one of first cases in the hospitality sector to clarify the law around living and working on site.

“While the circumstances in this case are relatively unusual, it highlights that employers need to be aware of how the term 'work' is actually interpreted” says Nick Mason. “The really helpful thing for employers is that this decision goes a long way to clarifying the law with respect to “sleepover” cases, which has been unsettled since the Dickson v Idea Services case was decided by the Employment Court.

While Keith Hill was employed at Riverview he was unable to leave the premises and during the peak season was effectively on duty for 15 hours a day. He was required to be there to check the camp, deal with urgent matters and respond to customers arriving at any time. In the two years he worked there he took only two weeks holiday. In January 2013 he was dismissed without any process or being given any justifiable reason.

The ERA judgement states that Mr Hill “worked long days in the peak season” and that he “had constraints on his evenings and nights during the peak season almost every night and had to remain alert, even when asleep, to any work that needed to be done”, and concluded that Mr Hill was entitled to be paid at not less than the minimum wage for 15 hours per day during the peak season. The ERA also found that there was a “complete lack of procedural fairness”, and “not one shred of evidence of any substantive justification” with respect to many aspects of Mr Hill’s unjustifiable dismissal.

Nick Mason says the employer, Peter Shand, neglected to pay Mr Hill any wages for several months and then refused to reimburse Mr Hill for the unpaid wages following the dismissal.

“This judgement will clarify the issues around living and working on a business premises and it’s a timely reminder that employers must carefully consider and administer job requirements – particularly hours worked and the tasks employees are required to undertake,” says Nick Mason.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street...

Parties specified under Section 149Q(3) of the RMA now have 20 working days to make comments on minor or technical aspects of the report. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Illegal Search: Police Behaviour 'Reminiscent Of Tūhoe Raids'

"Māori will lose further trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) if the recent incident in Stratford is not adequately addressed. This behaviour would not occur in Epsom or Khandallah so why should police think that such behaviour was acceptable in Stratford," says Chris McKenzie. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news