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Terms

Labour Inspector

Qualified inspectors who work on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to enforce the minimum employment standards for all workplaces in New Zealand. Common areas of employment law a labour inspector enforces are the minimum wage, record keeping, entitlements, wage reductions and illegal workers.

Labour inspectors have the power to investigate breaches of employment law and issue penalties. For less serious cases, the inspector may issue a notice of improvement so the company can change their workplace practices. For more serious cases, the company may be issued with a penalty, have the case publicised or even be prevented from employing staff in the future.

Leave Without Pay

When an employee gets permission from their employer to take unpaid leave.

Most often an employee will choose to go on leave without pay if they have used up their other leave entitlements (e.g. annual leave, sick leave). If an employee takes more than one week of leave without pay, the rollover period for their normal entitlements will be delayed by as many days as the employee takes extra leave without pay.

An employee can only take leave without pay with permission from their employer or a clause in their employment agreement. If the employee takes this leave without permission, it will be deemed as unauthorised leave and the employee could be penalised.

Lone Working

An employee who works in a remote or isolated area without direct contact or supervision with other staff. Due to a lack of onsite support, lone workers are at a greater risk of confrontation and personal injury.

While lone workers must take care to look after their own health and safety, employers also have a duty of care to create a safe work environment and provide suitable control measures to minimise the risk of working alone.

Examples of control measures for lone workers include periodic check-ups, use of remote monitoring technology (i.e. security cameras), automatic warning devices, and locking up and securing the place.

Long Service Leave

A form of leave sometimes offered to employees after a continuous period of employment with the same organisation or employer. How long an employee has to work to get long service leave depends on the agreement between the employer and employee.

Long service leave is not a recognised term under New Zealand employment law. Instead, the terms and conditions of long service leave may be negotiated between the employer and employee as an extra entitlement.

Long-Term Illness

A chronic illness or condition lasting for six months or longer. There is no law that requires an employer to keep a job open for an employee who can no longer fulfil their role. However, if an employer decides to prematurely end the employment relationship, they could face an unfair dismissal claim.

An employer can only end the employment relationship if they strongly believe the employee can no longer do their job properly and it is unreasonable for the employer to keep the position open for them.

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