1 / Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill

What could this mean for your business and your employees?

Business owners and employers should be aware that there is new employment legislation on the horizon.

The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill is now in the Select Committee stage. If the Bill is passed into law in its current form, it will replace the Equal Pay Act 1972 and amend the Employment Relations Act 2000. The Bill provides a process and principles to assess and resolve pay equity claims.

The Bill focuses on work which has historically been performed by women and whether, in the circumstances, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the work has been undervalued.

If one of your employees makes a pay equity claim the Bill requires you to consider whether the claim has merit. The following applies:

  • Where the claim has merit, the parties will enter into a prescribed bargaining process to assess the nature of, and remuneration for, the work in a gender neutral manner
  • Where you as their employer don’t accept that the claim has merit you must notify your employee in writing with your reasons, and
  • Where resolution can’t be reached, the dispute resolution provisions in the Employment Relations Act 2000 apply.

Given the uncertainties relating to the upcoming general election, we anticipate that if the Bill (in some form) is going to be passed into law, it will be a number of months away. We will keep you posted.


2 / Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 now in force

Make sure your business documents comply

Most businesses use standard form documents such as terms of trade, or terms and conditions, in their daily operations. These documents often contain clauses relating to one or more of the 11 statutes which have been replaced by the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017. This Act came into force on 1 September 2017.

This new legislation doesn’t alter the law on contracts and commercial dealings, but it combines a number of statutes which deal with – amongst other things – the sale and carriage of goods, contracts, and electronic transactions.

Make sure your standard form documents are reviewed to ensure that they align with the new Act. If you would like us to review your business documentation to ensure it’s up-to-date, please be in touch.


3 / Security cameras

When does surveillance become an invasion of privacy?

The use of closed circuit television (CCTV) and/or security cameras are useful security tools for businesses to deter unwanted behaviour and identify wrongdoers. When you’re deciding whether to install and use CCTV and/or security cameras to protect your business, you must be aware of your obligations under the Privacy Act 1993.

The Act contains 12 privacy principles around the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Personal information must be collected and used for lawful purposes, and usually can’t be disclosed to third parties without that person’s consent. To find out more about the 12 privacy principles, go here.

To comply with these privacy principles you must make sure that your employees and members of the public are aware that CCTV and/or security cameras are operating, who owns/operates them, why they are operating and the purpose the information has been collected for. You can do this by displaying signage which can be easily seen before people enter the filmed area.

You must have a clearly defined reason for collecting personal information and only collect information for that purpose. CCTV and/or security cameras must not be operated in a manner that is unlawful, unfair or unreasonably intrusive.

Signage may not prevent individuals from complaining to the Privacy Commissioner if they feel their rights under the Act have been breached. However, if you’re looking to install CCTV and/or security cameras around your business premises, it will go some way to ensuring you have taken reasonable steps to comply with the Act.


Disclaimer: All the information published in "Commercial eSpeaking" articles is true and accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge. It should not be substituted for legal advice. No liability is assumed by the authors or publisher for losses suffered by any person or organisation relying directly or indirectly on this newsletter. Views expressed are the views of the authors individually and do not necessarily reflect the view of this firm. Articles appearing in "Commercial eSpeaking" may be reproduced with prior approval from the editor and credit being given to the source.
Copyright, NZ LAW Limited, 2016. Editor - Adrienne Olsen, e. adrienne@adroite.co.nz  p. 029 286 365