Employment matters Q&A

Employment matters with thanks to Chapman Employment Relations

Q. What can void 90 Day Trial Period?


o    If the employee has previously worked for you (or a subsidiary).

o    If the employee was not given a written employment agreement before commencing employment. Once they have started work they are considered an employee and so point #1 would kick in.

o    If you give the employee an Employment Agreement but do not get the employee to sign the agreement prior to commencing work.

o    If you have never given the employee an Employment Agreement.

o    A recent local case also highlighted the necessity to give the Employment Agreement to the employee personally and not rely on a third party to do so as the delivery can be disputed.

o    Having incorrect Trial Period wording in the Individual Employment Agreement that does not meet the requirements of Section 67A of the Employment Relations Act 2000.


Q. What is the maximum fine for not providing your employee with an Employment Agreement? Where does the money go?


o    Under section 63A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 an employer must provide an employee with a written employment agreement (Individual or Collective), and penalties may be awarded under section 64 if no written employment agreement is provided, up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies.

o    The fines go to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (Old Dept of Labour)


Q. Do you have to provide a payslip for your employees?


o    Legally you do not have to provide a payslip for your employees but it is good practice to do so. You do however, have to keep accurate records of what you have paid your employees and your employees are entitled to ask to see these records and take copies whenever they want. Records must be kept for 6 years.


Q. Can you read an employee’s personal emails sent on their work computer and using your email address?


o    Employment Courts have tended to take the employer’s side when this situation has occurred. You should have a valid business reason for reading any personal emails on work computers. You shouldn’t look through an employee’s emails just to be nosey. But if you are concerned that business’ secrets are being leaked or an extraordinary amount of work time appears to be spent on personal communication then you have just cause to investigate.


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