Legal Updates

Hazardous substances guidance released

Nov 6, 2018 2:45:54 PM

WorkSafe has released guidance on its website for businesses that store, handle or use substances controlled under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. The guide brings together conveniently accessible advice for the labelling, control and tracking thresholds for different classes of hazardous substances. Workplaces using these goods must comply with the guidelines if they have more than the stated quantity of the goods on their premises.

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Tarry at your own risk with old information

Nov 6, 2018 2:42:22 PM

The Privacy Commissioner has shared details of a recent breach case in which a zipped folder of files was given to a contractor as part of their contract for services. The folder mistakenly contained a sub-folder of files related to old job applications. The contractor acted appropriately by immediately deleting the records. The organisation was found to have breached privacy principles by retaining the applications for longer than is necessary and in breach of their own policies.

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Nearly $40K for constructive dismissal

Nov 6, 2018 2:11:56 PM

The ERA has ordered a security firm to pay one of its former employees $20K in compensation and $18.2K in lost remuneration after finding that she was constructively dismissed from the firm. The firm was found to not to have been open and communicative with the employee around her availability or the reduced offer of hours made after returning to work after medical leave, with the firm also found to have acted in bad faith by offering her hours she could not work.

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Trans-Tasman direct invoicing incoming

Nov 6, 2018 2:05:12 PM

The New Zealand and Australian governments have concluded the Trans-Tasman e-Invoicing Arrangement. This will allow businesses invoicing one another between the countries that use Australian and New Zealand Business Numbers to directly exchange invoices between their financial systems. The change could affect up to 1.3 billion trans-Tasman invoices sent annually, with efficiency gains exceeding $30 billion over 10 years. Companies are encouraged to ensure they can benefit.

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$440K fine for baseless performance claims

Nov 6, 2018 1:57:18 PM

A water filter manufacturer and distributor has been fined $440K in the District Court after making unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of its filters. These included making false claims about the quality of the domestic water supply to inflate the need to buy filters. The company also failed to provide a reasonable basis for the claims it made about the filters' performance, which ComCom took seriously because customers were unable to evaluate the filters' effectiveness themselves.

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Record $1.885M Fair Trading Act fine

Nov 6, 2018 1:49:13 PM

A steel mesh manufacturer has received the largest ever fine imposed under the Fair Trading Act ($1.885M) for making false and misleading misrepresentations about steel mesh products used in earthquake strengthening. The company was convicted of 24 FTA breaches for having falsely represented to customers that the mesh had been tested to comply with relevant standards. The penalty was discounted from $2.9M due to the company's cooperation with investigators.

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Not such a slice of heaven after all: ComCom

Nov 6, 2018 1:11:44 PM

Fashion label WORLD has accepted a ComCom investigation finding that its "made in New Zealand" labelling may have breached the Fair Trading Act. The Commission found that WORLD's "Fabrique en Nouvelle-Zelande" swing tags on garments manufactured in China or Bangladesh could have misled consumers. During the 9 year period in question, 99% of WORLD's garments were made in NZ, but the Act requires accurate statements of each individual product's origin.

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Israeli court penalties for Lorde boycott

Oct 12, 2018 1:43:00 PM

Two young New Zealand women who successfully called on singer Lorde to boycott Israeli concert venues have been order to pay about NZD 18K in damages to three Israeli teenagers whose concert tickets were cancelled as a result by an Israeli court. The penalty, imposed under a 2011 Israeli law allowing damages resulting from boycotts, will be unenforceable unless the women go to Israel.

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Mental Health Week in the workplace

Oct 12, 2018 1:39:00 PM

MBIE is encouraging employers to consider the benefits to productivity and regulatory compliance of promoting good mental health amongst employees as the nation marks Mental Health Awareness Week for 2018, suggesting workplace activities to promote wellbeing. Worksafe NZ has previously reminded employers they must manage employee stress and prevent stress factors like workplace bullying.

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ACC to pay around $100M in refunds

Oct 11, 2018 2:11:00 PM

ACC has announced it will be refunding around $100M to 300,000 business customers whose levies were incorrectly assessed during their first year of self-employment between 2012 and 2017 or that ceased trading and then paid provisional invoices during that time. Customers in the first category will receive average refunds of $340 and those in the second around $145. Details linked below.

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