Why You Need a Specialist Lawyer for Employment Issues
Employee issues are an incredibly complex field, and if you want to make sure that your company is beyond reproach and that you are not going to get caught out in a legal web of rules and regulations, you need to talk to a specialist North Shore employment dispute lawyer before you take any action against an employee. Most lawyers that represent employees are doing so because they want to defend their client’s rights – they know that a non-unionised employee is in a difficult position, and powerless against their employers. They are motivated lawyers and they know the rules and regulations they are dealing with.
It is unlikely that you are going to end up in legal disputes often – most companies will only see them happen once or twice in the duration of a manager’s tenure. Bigger companies with hundreds of employees may see complaints and legal issues coming through far more often, though.
While many employees will accept what the company does to them, but many know their employment rights and will fight to make sure that they are fairly treated in every respect. Even a well-meaning company that does not intend to hurt their employee through disciplinary action, redundancy, or pay issues could end up breaking the law if they don’t fully understand what their responsibilities and obligations are. It becomes even more complicated when trying to dismiss an employee. You may feel that they are demonstrably causing problems for you and that you want to get rid of them, but there are long, drawn out procedures that must be followed in certain states.
Even though zero hours contracts are now not legal in New Zealand, there are some unscrupulous lawyers who try to bend the rules in their favour. In all employment dispute situations, you must treat carefully because if you do not follow the laws exactly, the employees could make a case for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal, and that could be expensive in the short-term and bad PR for you in the long-term.
Smaller companies should make sure that they have someone trained in HR work with them to create their policies and rules. Bigger companies should have a full HR team, and also have lawyers on hand to help them if things get complicated.
Document everything, and have clear procedures for disciplinary proceedings that employees are aware of. Have clear pay policies too, and make sure that they are a part of the employee handbook. Take complaints seriously, especially ones about harassment, bullying and discrimination. Provide training for employees but set out in their contracts what they are expected to do in return for the training, to protect yourself from the possibility of people leaving after earning a very high value industry certification.
However, for many companies, it is not possible to have a full-time HR specialist so for these businesses it makes sense to work with a specialist North Shore employment dispute lawyer like McVeagh Fleming in Albany. They have a team of lawyers who work in the employment field and can represent you in case you run into any employee disputes. They can also help you set-up your HR resources and procedures so that you reduce the risk of any disputes arising or falling foul of the current NZ employment laws.
You can find more details on their website at mcveaghfleming.co.nz.
For information about NZ zero-hour employment law, go to this site.