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Welcome to the Sharp Tudhope Lawyers' blog. Here you will find  topical information and advice relating to a wide range of areas of law, written by our legal experts.

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS - CONTRACT AND COMMERCIAL LAW ACT 2017

The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (“CCL Act”) is set to make some practical changes to a wide range of commercial contracts and will come into force on 1 September 2017. The purpose of the CCL Act is to modernise and consolidate 11 commercial contract statutes into a single piece of legislation under the CCL Act.
Written by Paul Milne at 00:00

RECRUITMENT - BE DISCERNING, NOT DISCRIMINATORY

A recent story in the NZ Herald highlights a common mistake many employers make when recruiting staff. An advertisement placed by an Auckland vet clinic suggested that the position was not suitable for someone planning to take long periods of “time off for parenting”. While many employers may feel this way, discrimination when recruiting can get you into hot water. Click the heading above to read more.
Written by Shima Grice at 00:00

GROWTH IS GOOD – BUT AT WHAT COST

Infrastructure and travel networks are hot topics right now in the Bay of Plenty. Whilst we’re happy to hear NZTA is reviewing its contractor’s practices and the work programme for the Te Puna roundabout, and to see work underway to improve road safety, the works come at a cost to businesses in the direct vicinity and to everyone else who is struggling to get to work on time. Businesses on the fringe are often most sorely affected but may not be entitled to compensation under the Public Works Act.
Written by Hamish Murray at 00:00

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS UPDATE - STAGE 3

In 2015 an array of amendments was made to the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA), to be implemented in three stages, namely on 1 December 2015, 1 September 2016, and 31 March 2017.
Written by James Hakaria at 00:00

MBIE WILL ENFORCE A MIGRANT EMPLOYMENT BAN ON EMPLOYERS WHO BREACH EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

From 1 April 2017, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will enforce stand down periods for employing migrants for any employer who incurs employment standards-related penalties. This new regime is designed to protect migrant workers from exploitation. This group of employees are more vulnerable than domestic workers who enjoy protection from the existing regulations and penalties.
Written by Michelle Urquhart at 00:00

EMPLOYMENT LAW - ADDRESSING THE GENDER PAY GAP

How do you address the gender pay gap? This is the question the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles (the JWG) had to answer when it was established by the government in 2015. This group consists of government, employer and union representatives and was tasked with recommending equal pay principles for government consideration.
Written by Shima Grice at 00:00

PENALTY PAYMENTS UNDER CONTRACTS

Anybody who enters into contracts as part of a construction contract will be familiar with the idea of “liquidated damages”. These clauses outline the amount of money which is payable by a party who breaches the contract. The amount payable under a liquidated damages clause is meant to be a genuine pre-estimate of the damage which will be suffered by the innocent party as a result of the breach. The amount does not have to be entirely correct, but it needs to be genuine.
Written by Bill Chapman at 00:00

EMPLOYERS - ARE YOUR STAFF WITHOUT WRITTEN AGREEMENTS?

Despite legal requirements that all employees have a written employment agreement, thousands of New Zealand employees are still working without one, a recent survey by Statistics New Zealand has showed.
Written by Shima Grice at 00:00

WHAT IF YOU OWED STAFF $20 MILLION IN BACK PAY?

That is the bill faced by New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, the owners of Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, for years of underpayments, according to this week’s NZ Herald.
Written by Sophie Harrigan at 00:00

THERE IS A COURT IN NEW ZEALAND THAT LAWYERS ARE NOT ALLOWED INTO...

There is a Court in New Zealand that lawyers are not allowed into….. And it is the same Court that decides the vast majority of all legal disputes in New Zealand. The name of the Court is the Disputes Tribunal. Formerly known as the Small Claims Court, the Tribunal was set up as an efficient and cost effective way to decide disputes between individuals, companies and trusts up to the value of $15,000. I was privileged to be appointed as a Referee to the Disputes Tribunal for two years.
Written by Michelle Urquhart at 00:00

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