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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news