Changes to sick leave entitlements

As you may have heard, there are some proposed changes to the Holidays Act 1993 (“the Act”) that are expected to come into effect later on this year. The changes look to double the minimum number of sick days available to employees from 5 to 10 days per annum, after they have worked with an…

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Insider’s guide to the Disputes Tribunal

If you have an issue you are unable to reach a resolution on, the Disputes Tribunal may well be your next step. They can look into a variety of claims that are less than $30,000 in value. You can apply online via www.disputestribunal.govt.nz or via a paper Claim Form. When you apply, you will be…

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Overview of the End of Life Choice Act 2019

The End of Live Choice Act 2019 came into effect in November 2021 (“the Act”). It establishes the framework for the process, the eligibility and safeguards for the service of assisted dying in New Zealand. It is overseen by the Ministry of Health Manatu Hauroa. Section 5 of the Act sets out the essential criteria…

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Trusts: when is a loan really a distribution?

Loans to beneficiaries are often made without proper consideration as to whether the powers being exercised will affect the preservation of trust assets or how these will affect any benefits to beneficiaries. Recording a payment to a beneficiary as a loan does not conclusively make it so, and such a misrepresentation could put the trustees…

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Trial vs. probationary periods – what is the difference?

Trial and probationary periods look very similar and are used for similar reasons but they are fundamentally different. The main differences are set out in this article. Probationary periods – Section 67 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“the Act”) provides that a probationary period must be specified in writing in the employment agreement and…

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Covid-19 vaccine/regulations – employer and employee rights

Employers and employees both have responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Employers are required to take steps to eliminate or otherwise minimise risks, and employees are expected to follow policies and procedures put in place in their workplace. The World Health Organisation deemed Covid-19 a worldwide pandemic in March of 2020.…

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Modifying or extinguishing restrictive covenants

A restrictive covenant is a contract between two parties that is restrictive in nature; a promise not to do something. The unique feature of restrictive covenants is that once they are noted on your title, they run with the land and bind subsequent owners. Some of the issues that can arise are around their interpretation,…

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Smart watches for our kids – How safe are they?

The internet of toys and internet of things are interchangeable; they both refer to smart devices that, at their most basic, are physical objects that connect to the internet, which in turn allows them to send, receive and exchange data with the user. Smart watches come under this terminology. Like any other device that connects…

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Removal of incapacitated trustees

The new Trusts Act 2019 has had a far-reaching impact on all aspects of trust law. One of its very sensible and practical amendments is to assist in streamlining the process when a trustee under a trust becomes incapacitated. The outcome is that, where a trustee has lost mental capacity and is deemed medically unable…

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A guide to KiwiSaver withdrawals and First Home Grants

The KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and First Home Grants are two completely separate processes. However, if you are eligible, the combination of the two can jump-start the process of buying your first home. The KiwiSaver first home withdrawal allows for early withdrawal of your KiwiSaver savings in order to assist with the purchase of your…

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