Pre-nup Agreements

Starting a new relationship positively while still protecting your own assets Prior to the commencement of a new relationship, parties may have obtained significant assets or monetary funds which they would like to be recognised as their own. This does not mean preparing for a divorce and instead can be an exercise of trust. Contracting-out agreements do not leave one party with nothing and are instead a tool to make things fair. Entering into a contracting-out agreement is a way of recognising a new relationship with the intent of making that relationship work. Motivation for signing a contracting-out agreement need
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Simultaneous workplace bullying complaints

The facts Midlands Health Network Limited (“Midland Health”) provide primary health care. Ms Webber was Director of Nursing at Midland Health. She raised complaints for workplace bullying and for Midland Health failing to provide her with a safe place of work. The matter was set down for mediation on 18 March 2014. That day, before mediation had started, Ms Webber’s lawyer made a complaint on Ms Webber’s behalf to WorkSafe claiming Ms Webber had been subjected to workplace bullying at Midlands Health. Neither Ms Webber or her lawyer advised Midlands Health of the complaint to WorkSafe. Subsequent comments made to
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A contract is a contract – a cautionary tale about unfavourable deals

There once lived a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Louise Calment. She was a widow – her husband having died during the war (not in battle, mind you, but after eating some bad cherries). Her daughter died from pneumonia and her only grandson was killed in a motor accident. So in 1965, at the age of 90, Calment found herself living on her own and with no heir. She also had little in the way of private income, which was needed to fund the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. One thing she did have, however, was a Paris apartment. To make
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Indemnities to Employees

The extent of the employer’s liability to indemnify the employee will then be governed by the express wording of the contractual indemnity and, if the employer is a company, by section 162 of the Companies Act 1993. Usually such indemnities indemnify the employee against personal liability to a third party arising from the performance of the employee’s duties, provided the employee’s actions were in good faith and did not involve recklessness, wilful neglect or any wilful failure to carry out a lawful instruction from the employer. However in 2013 in the case of George v Auckland Council [2013] NZEmpC 179
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Resource Consent Reforms

Resource Consent Reforms Will new reforms speed up resource consent applications? The reforms clarify the requirements for resource consent applications and now stipulate a maximum time for the decision-making process of six months. As an overview, here are the main reforms introduced to the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 to accelerate the consent process. More detailed resource consent applications Resource consent applications will require more detail than ever before. All applications must now have an assessment of the activity against Part 2 of the RMA. They must meet the objectives, policies and rules of any relevant planning document, as well
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A Heads-Up for Employers

Upcoming Changes to Employment Law – A Heads-Up for Employers Rest and meal breaks One of the most publicised changes relates to employee meal and rest breaks. The Amendment Act will replace specific timeframes for when rest and meal breaks must be taken with new provisions encouraging employers and employees to negotiate breaks in good faith. Where the parties cannot agree, the final decision will lie with the employer. An employer will not have to provide breaks where the employee agrees to reasonable compensation, or where due to the employee’s duties, it is reasonable and necessary for the business not
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Obligations when using contractors

An Auckland construction company was recently found to have breached its obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the ‘Act’) and ordered to pay a hefty fine after a subcontractor’s employee suffered serious injuries from a fall while working, despite fall protection equipment being made available to the subcontractor at the work place. When you engage someone else to do work for you, you assume the obligation of a ‘principal’. Under the current Act, a principal is a person who engages any person (other than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward. Being
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Relationship Property Agreements

Relationship Property Agreements One issue which may not be at the forefront of your mind when buying your first house is relationship property. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (‘Act’) applies to marriages, civil unions, and de facto relationships generally when the relationship has been 3 years or longer. Normally any house owned by one or both parties jointly in a relationship, which is used as the family home (whether it was acquired before or after the relationship began), is considered relationship property. The net value of that relationship asset will be divided equally if the relationship ends even if there
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Employee caught out by piggybacking representative’s Facebook posts

Ms Blylevens was employed by Kidicorp as a Centre Manager in Tauranga. In April 2014 Kidicorp’s Business Manager received complaints about Ms Blylevens from some parents and eleven staff members. A preliminary information gathering meeting was arranged with Ms Blylevens the following day to determine whether an investigation into these complaints was appropriate. Ms Blylevens went on sick leave and didn’t return for a month. The investigation into the staff and parent complaints was suspended when Ms Blylevens’ Facebook activities were discovered by another employee of Kidicorp who was within Ms Blyleven’s circle of ‘Facebook friends’. Ms Blylevens’ employment law
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Credit Reporting and the Risk of Identity Fraud

Credit Reports are prepared by Credit Reporters of which there are several nationwide. They collect credit and personal information and sell that information to Credit Providers who are considering offering you credit. Due to the large amount of personal information involved and the importance of Credit Reports to the credit industry, the Privacy Commissioner issued a Credit Reporting Privacy Code (the Code). The purpose of the Code is to ensure that there is a fair, transparent and accurate reporting system. The Code gives mandatory directives on how Credit Reporters are to collect and distribute information about your credit history. Since
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