Entries by Mark Donovan

Can You Sue Your Employee?

Terry pranged the company car. Again. Julie’s work on the designs was so sloppy that you had to pay a contractor to redo them. Donald insulted a client at a sales meeting. Now the client has gone to your competitor. In each of those situations, if Terry, Julie, or Donald were your employees, you might […]

Your First Employee

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and hire your first employee. Ideally, your employees should make your business life easier. Good staff can really help spread the load. You should also know that employing others comes with certain responsibilities. After all, it’s called an employment relationship. You’re making a serious commitment to someone. What […]

Is This Discussion “Off The Record”?

“Brian,” the boss addresses him as he sits down at the boardroom table. “We need to have a chat about your future at XYZ Limited.” Brian’s face goes white. He imagined he’d have another 20 years left at XYZ. At least another five, until he had broken the back of his mortgage. Then he might […]

Give Your Employee A Chance To Change Your Mind

Plenty of New Zealand employers think the law is too “employee-friendly”. They cite cases where employees were surely at fault, but came away with big awards because the employer stuffed up the dismissal process. “How can that be fair?,” they wonder. They go on to assume that it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong. Process […]

$30k Award For Unjustified Disadvantage

Awards of compensation for hurt and humiliation have tended to be low in the past. That is particularly so in relation to claims for unjustified disadvantage. But in the right case, even compensation for a disadvantage claim can be significant – as a recent judgment from the Employment Court has shown. WHAT IS UNJUSTIFIED DISADVANTAGE? […]

Do Employers Have to Pay Extra for KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a great scheme for getting Kiwis to save. After a decade we’re already saving billions collectively. The success of the scheme lies in making saving automatic. Contributions get paid because employers make the payments on their employees’ behalf. But what does it cost you as an employer? And is there a way to […]

Do You Have To Pay That Bonus?

Many employers want to reward employees for outstanding achievements. One way to do that is to give your staff a bonus – to provide an incentive for higher levels of performance. Time and again, I see great intentions to begin with. Unfortunately, the bonus doesn’t always play out as intended. Either it doesn’t get paid when […]

There’s More Than One Personal Grievance

Personal grievances come in more than one flavour. The most common one you hear about is the personal grievance for unfair dismissal. But did you know there are nine other types of personal grievance under New Zealand law? WHAT IS A PERSONAL GRIEVANCE ANYWAY? Before listing off the different types, let’s be clear about what […]

4 Things Employers Must Do When Offering Employment

Did you know that the law requires you to do certain things when making an offer of employment? The law recognises there’s an imbalance of bargaining power between employers and employees. Employers hold all the cards, so to speak. So the idea is to make employers give employees a fair chance to negotiate on the […]

Should You Resign If Faced With Disciplinary Action?

Your boss just gave you a letter. It’s not good. The letter invites you to a meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning in the boardroom. They want to discuss allegations that are being made against you. They say they have evidence that you’ve misbehaved. You know this could turn out badly for you. You’re […]