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February 2016

Interesting or topical employment cases.

New Zealand Meat Workers & Related Trades Union Inc v AFFCO New Zealand Ltd [2016] NZEmpC 7

Employment Court – Application for compliance orders regarding re-engagement of employees

Following on from the Employment Court’s earlier decision (external link) , which held that the defendant had unlawfully locked out workers and breached its good faith obligations in bargaining, the plaintiff and affected workers sought compliance orders requiring the defendant to re-engage the workers on day shifts in order of seniority. The defendant had placed them on night shifts only until further consideration of the situation. The Employment Court held at [110] that the expired collective agreement required the defendant to re-engage employees on day shifts in order of seniority. The Court at [131]-[132] declined to award compliance orders, preferring to give the defendant a chance to comply with the judgment before making such orders.

New Zealand Meat Workers & Related Trades Union Inc v AFFCO New Zealand Ltd [2016] NZEmpC 7 (external link)


New Zealand Meat Workers Union Inc v South Pacific Meats Ltd [2016] NZERA Christchurch 13

Employment Relations Authority – $144,000 in penalties awarded for respondent’s breaches of union access rights

The applicant asserted that the respondent had unreasonably tried to limit its access to the respondent’s work sites. The Employment Relations Authority found that the respondent had required union officials to be accompanied by a manager while on visits, which amounted to unlawful interferences with the applicant’s rights of access. Further, the respondent had acted unlawfully by demanding evidence of union membership before commencing collective bargaining. The Authority awarded a total of $144,000 in penalties to the applicant and made a compliance order requiring the respondent not to unlawfully restrict union access.

New Zealand Meat Workers Union Inc v South Pacific Meats Ltd [2016] NZERA Christchurch 13 (external link)


New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd v Weller [2016] NZCA 19

Court of Appeal – Appeal dismissed on question of interpretation of s 7A of the Holidays Act 1981

The Court of Appeal held that the Employment Court had correctly interpreted section 7A of the Holidays Act 1981 regarding accrual of days in lieu, although the Employment Court’s decision had been based more on the relevant contract than the section, so it was not a matter for appeal.

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd v Weller [2016] NZCA 19 (external link)

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