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Employment Lawyer in New Zealand

Employment Lawyer in New Zealand

Getting an employment lawyer in NZ can be beneficial for several reasons, especially if you’re facing workplace-related issues or concerns. Our team can represent your interests during these disputes and help you reach a fair resolution without having to go through a lengthy and costly legal process.

Hiring employees in New Zealand is regulated through the Employment Relations Act, the Wages Protection Act, the Minimum Wage Act, and a number of other laws concerning waged protection, the right to holiday and parental leave.

Our employment lawyer in New Zealand offers services for both employers and employees who are in need of assistance and advice for various matters concerning employment.

Issues such as minimum wages, employment agreements, trial periods, hiring foreign staff and workplace health and safety can be discussed with out employment lawyer in Auckland if you are based here.

Please read below if you wish to know how an employment attorney can help you and when you should reach out to us.

Our team of lawyers in New Zealand offers tailored services to companies and individuals. If you need more information, other than what is presented in this article, you can reach out to us at any time.

What services does an employment lawyer provide?

All employment relationships in New Zealand are governed by the employment law comprising many different acts and regulations. The government authority responsible for the implementation of these laws is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Whether you are just starting employment in New Zealand as a citizen or a foreign national or you have been working in a certain field for many years, discussing matters about the employment agreement, hours and wages or dismissal with an employment lawyer in NZ can be very helpful.

Here are the main areas of interest covered by our employment lawyers:

  • Unfair dismissal: unjustified dismissal is not permitted and you can seek legal help when your employer has failed to provide a reasonable cause for the termination of the employment agreement,;
  • Wages and leave: if your employer does not observe the law for minimum wage or for parental leave or paid leave, you can talk to us;
  • Harassment: workplace harassment should be reported to the employer, however, if your workplace has become unsafe, you can discuss more with our lawyer who will help you raise a personal grievance or approach the matter in a different manner;
  • Representation: we assist our clients with court representation in all matters related to employment and we also represent those who have been subject to disciplinary meetings.

The services listed above are offered by our employment lawyer in Hamilton, NZ as well as in other areas by our experts.

We can also help you with:

  • Alternative dispute resolution: our team and our employment lawyer in NZ can also assist with mediation, when appropriate, as an alternative to litigation;
  • Agreements: drafting employment agreements can be an important step and one that will help clarify a number of issues, as well as protect the employer from failure to observe the latest policy changes;
  • Health and safety: complete information about workplace health and safety measures as per the NZ employment law.

You can reach out to our lawyers in New Zealand for more information about each of these services.

Our employment lawyers in Wellington, as well as those based in other cities, will be able to answer specific questions.

We are also able to assist you with a number of other services, such as those related to company formation in NZ.

Legal assistance for employees in New Zealand

An employment lawyer in NZ from our team is able to represent individuals who are faced with issues concerning their employment contract or who have various issues with their employee.

All employees in New Zealand, whether full-time or fixed term, have certain rights, among which working in a safe environment and being protected against discrimination and harassment.

You can read more about the main services for employees offered by our employment lawyer in Auckland below:

  1. Employment contract review: if you believe that your employer is not respecting your rights, you can discuss any matter of concern with us;
  2. Wrongful dismissal: support from our employment lawyer NZ if you were subject to wrongful dismissal;
  3. Personal grievances: we assist employees who wish to take legal action against their employers; this can be done within 90 days of the incident and our NZ employment law specialists will offer you complete details about the process;
  4. Workplace discrimination and harassment: discrimination, as well as any form of sexual harassment are illegal in New Zealand; we can assist you if you are faced with these.

As an employee in New Zealand, you have the right to minimum wage, with effect from April 1, 2023. Our lawyers briefly list these below:

  • 22.70 NZD per hour;
  • 181.60 NZD per an 8-hour day;
  • 908 NZD per a 40 hour week.

Please keep in mind that the rates are different for those in training or starting-out. The rates are reviewed and changed accordingly each year by the Government. 

Our employment lawyer in Auckland can help you if you are based here. We also offer services in other areas in New Zealand.

Working closely with our employment experts are our NZ accountants specializing in payroll. By working with our team, you will have access to services related to PAYE and IRD calculations, as well as submitting the required documents and making the payments. While there is no payroll tax, companies do need to make social security contributions and our experts can help you comply.

Employee dismissal

If a manager is considering an employee’s firing from the workplace, an employment lawyer in NZ can handle such situations properly to prevent challenges or legal claims. In accordance with the employment laws in the country, an employer is obliged to act in good faith, have a valid reason, and follow a fair and reasonable process when dismissing an employee.

Valid reasons for dismissing an employee include:

  • serious or repeated misconduct;
  • performance issues;
  • dismissal during a trial period;
  • redundancy;
  • incompatibility or incapacity.

If an employee is dismissed outside of a trial period, he/she has the right to ask the employer for a written statement explaining the reasons for dismissal, 60 days after learning about the dismissal. The employer must provide the written statement within 14 days of the request.

Employers must provide the appropriate notice period specified in the employment agreement unless the dismissal is due to serious misconduct.

For more details regarding employee dismissal, you can contact our employment lawyers in Auckland or in other regions of New Zealand.

Harassment claims

It is important to note that certain behaviors at the workplace can be considered bullying or harassment, as covered by the Harassment Act 1997 in New Zealand. Our attorneys in New Zealand can explain more about this regulation.

Harassment cases often involve following specific processes, such as reporting the incident, participating in an investigation, and potentially pursuing a legal claim.

Moreover, if behavior qualifies as civil harassment under the Harassment Act, the person who feels harassed has the option to apply for a restraining order. Situations are even more serious and complex if they involve violence or qualify as criminal harassment. To avoid or prevent these cases, we recommend getting in touch with our employment lawyer in Christchurch, or in another region, depending on your workplace location.

Unpaid work in New Zealand

If your employer hasn’t paid you your wages or worked hours, it is crucial to seek advice from our employment lawyers in NZ.

We will help you review the employment contract, pay records, and any relevant documents, to assess the validity of your claim. Note that employers are required to keep records of wages and time-related information for their employees. Our employment lawyers in Wellington can request to see those records at the relevant authorities. We also provide assistance in calculating the amount of unpaid wages or underpaid wages you’re owed, including interest if applicable, to ensure you’re seeking fair compensation.

Depending on the circumstances, our employment lawyers in NZ can advise you on the proper course of action. One solution might be to pursue a claim with the Employment Relations Authority.

Alternatively, if the employer agrees, our New Zealand lawyers can be able to negotiate a settlement to resolve the wage dispute.

Do I need an employment lawyer in NZ?

Working with a lawyer is not mandatory, however, it is helpful if you wish to solve your problem as quickly as possible and in a favourable manner. From matters concerning wages, to workplace discrimination and wrongful termination, a lawyer is able to provide personalized solutions and will help you reach a resolution with your employer.

If you believe that your employer is being unfair, it is advisable to seek legal counsel before taking up any legal action. The lawyer can help you understand both your rights and your duties and will help you find a solution that will be suitable for your particular case. In most cases, negotiation and amicable resolution is enough to solve employment matters, however, if the matter does go to court, when working with a lawyer you will also rest assured that you have adequate court representation.

Our law firm in New Zealand specializes in employment law and handles even the most complex cases.

Can I hire an employment lawyer in Hamilton, NZ?

Our team offers services throughout New Zealand and part of our team is based in Hamilton. If you live or work near this area, or if you have a business based in the North Island, discussing your employment-related matters with our specialists can be helpful for finding solutions that work bet for your team or your business.

We are a team of lawyers specializing in Labour Law and other business matters and we understand that the relationship between the employer and the employee is not always a straightforward one. We have worked with local and foreign employees in New Zealand and we are ready to answer any questions you might have.

Employment overview in New Zealand

According to data from the statistical office, in the second quarter of 2023, there were the following statistics:

  • There were 2,927,000 legal employees in New Zealand;
  • The unemployment rate was 3.6%;
  • 69.8% of employees are women, while 74.4% are men.

Contact us if you need to work with an employment lawyer in Hamilton, NZ or in another area in the North Island. We provide complete services to employers and employees alike.