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Terms

Harassment

Unwanted behaviour from an individual or group of people that undermines a person’s dignity or humiliates them. Harassment is a form of discrimination and targets someone based on their age, race, gender, ethnicity, disability and so on.

Examples of harassment include verbal or physical threats, unwanted advancements of a sexual nature or pressuring someone into doing a sexual act, excluding a person from work events, forcing someone to quit their job and continued use of offensive language.

It is up to the victim to decide if they feel that behaviour of this nature is harassment.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

New Zealand’s most up-to-date workplace health and safety legislation. The act and related regulations require all workers to receive the highest level of protection from workplace health and safety risks, as far as the employer can reasonably provide.

The act also introduces a new term, ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU), which is a broad term used to describe any type of modern working arrangement, where the company or employer has an obligation to create a safe work environment and protect all workers from physical and mental risks.

Holiday Pay

Payment given to an employee for taking annual leave.

Holiday pay must be calculated each time the employee goes on holiday. The amount of holiday pay is based on whichever is the highest rate of either:

  1. The employee’s ordinary weekly pay or
  2. The employee’s average weekly earnings over the past 12 months before the end of the last pay period.

Employment agreements can include specific clauses that offer higher rates of holiday pay and extra provisions. For example, being paid penalty rates for taking leave on a Sunday or public holiday the employee would have otherwise worked.

Holidays Act 2003

Legislation designed to help New Zealand employees achieve a healthy work/life balance. The act sets out the minimum leave entitlements and payment for each type of leave, such as bereavement leave, alternative holidays, public holidays and sick leave.

All employees are entitled to at least four weeks of paid annual leave each year. For public holidays of cultural, political or historical significance, employees should be entitled to take leave or get special compensation for working on these days.

Human Rights Act 1993

Legislation that protects employees from all forms of discrimination in the workplace based on the grounds of sex, age, race, skin colour, marital status, cultural background, religious or political beliefs, and employment status.

Employers have a legal responsibility to create a safe working environment and protect workers from discrimination. If an employee is subject to unlawful discrimination, they can approach the Human Rights Commission or Human Rights Review Tribunal to resolve their claim.

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