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

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news