Port worker dismissal upheld despite safety concerns

Auckland port worker Danny Belsham was justifiably dismissed after he refused to work due to health and safety concerns, the Employment Court has ruled. Danny Belsham was dismissed from his employment with Ports of Auckland Limited on October 16 2013, after he refused to start work and man a straddle crane. In Mr Belsham's dismissal letter, the port's then terminal operations general manager Raoul Borley said his 19 years of service with the company was taken into account. "I have also taken [...]

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Collins tells Judges to hurry up with judgements

This is my happy face because I am making the biggest judicial reforms in 100 years - yeah baby!!Justice Minister Judith Collins is putting judges on notice that slow delivery of reserve judgements will no longer be acceptable. She is concerned about the length of time some judgements take and she is sick of hearing that the best answer to addressing delays is to appoint more judges. "If I have heard that once I have heard it 100 times." But [...]

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Employment Court finds ‘Systematic bias against women’

The Employment Court has come down on the side of some of the most poorly paid women in the workforce in a landmark test case ruling. The Employment Court has also accused female-dominated industries, such as aged care, of perpetuating a systemic bias against women by undervaluing work that has traditionally been done by women. In its decision released late last week, the court found employers in female-dominated industries can no longer argue that because their few male workers are [...]

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Employment Court says Text message dismissal unjustified

The Employment Court at Nelson has upheld an Employment Relations Authority decision finding a salad bar worker was unjustifiably dismissed when she was sacked by text message after being accused of stealing on her second day on the job. Chief Employment Court Judge Graeme Colgan upheld the ERA decision awarded Amberleigh Howe-Thornley more than $6000 in compensation. The ERA was told Ms Howe-Thornley applied for a job at Salad Bowl in Nelson after the company advertised for someone to operate a [...]

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Court rules Talley’s worker not seasonal

A Talley's worker has won an employment case that could have significant implications for other New Zealand workers  and their employers. Employment Court chief judge Graeme Colgan has ruled that Lynette Turner, who worked for Talley's for 10 years at its Motueka fish-processing plant, was not a seasonal worker as the company claimed when it stopped employing her in 2011. Lawyer Anjela Sharma, who represented Turner, said today: "There is a reasonable likelihood there are other employees at Talley's fish processing [...]

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Air NZ pilot wins reinstatement over sex case

A pilot with Air New Zealand subsidiary, Air Nelson who was sacked for having sex with a flight attendant and drinking on an overnight stop has won a legal battle to save his job. Air Nelson has exhausted its legal avenues after its decision to dismiss the pilot for "serious misconduct" was overruled. The flight attendant, then 19, said she could not have consented to sex but her complaint to police did not result in a prosecution. The Employment Relations Authority found [...]

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