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UnderpaymentsNovember 3, 2016
With this year’s season of The Bachelor New Zealand well and truly done, and leading man, Jordan Mauger ending the relationship with his chosen lady just two days after the finale aired, controversy is never far away.
While this year’s drama may now be old news, one of last year’s bachelorettes, Rosie Kininmonth, is currently in the spotlight after lodging a claim with the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), seeking $31,000 in compensation from real estate company, The Property Market, following a dispute over payments made in her three-month tenure with the company.
Kininmonth, who would be relatively well known to The Bachelor fans for walking off the show, started working for The Property Market in March 2015 and claims she sold properties to a combined total of $17.7 million until she resigned in May 2015. Shortly after resigning, Kininmonth received a bill from Inland Revenue totalling $31,000 as a result of outstanding taxes, missed student loan repayments, KiwiSaver fees and ACC charges. Confusion over this bill stems from Kininmonth believing she was an employee of The Property Market, meaning all associated tax affairs were managed by them;not a contractor whereby she would be liable to manage these.
Kininmonth apparently received a letter from The Property Market’s accounting partner apologising for the ‘genuine misunderstanding’ associated with her tax affairs. While the letter also stated she had been overpaid for the corresponding tax year, appropriate deduction had not been made for the consideration of tax, loans, KiwiSaver and ACC.
As an employer, it is crucial to consider the employment status of all your employees and/or contractors as their entitlements and your obligations can vary significantly.
As defined by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), an employee is anyone employed to do work in return for a wage or salary under a contract of service, namely an individual employment agreement. A contractor, on the other hand, is identified as someone who is self-employed and is hired by another party to perform services under a contract for service, commonly referred to as an independent contractor agreement.
It is important to note that contractors are not covered by most employment-related laws, whereas all employees are and therefore have corresponding entitlements that must be met. Health and Safety laws are however applied to both employees and contractors.
Should you have any queries associated with defining the difference between an employee and a contractor, or are confused by your obligation associated with each, contact Employsure, the leading workplace relations specialist, for professional advice. Call us today on 0800 675 700.