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Terms

Wages Protection Act 1983

Legislation that sets out the way wages must be paid and protects employees from unlawful deductions.

According to the act, employers can only deduct from an employee’s wage under strict circumstances and they are not allowed to force an employee to pay them in exchange for a job. Employers are also not allowed to control how an employee spends their wage.

Any breach of the Wages Protection Act is liable for investigation from the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court.

Whistleblower

An employee who raises questions or concerns about unethical or illegal conduct in the workplace.

Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, employees are entitled to report serious wrongdoing committed by the company and are protected from any retaliation by their employer. However, the whistleblower must have good reason to believe the wrongdoing is true or likely to be true.

This protection extends to former employees, contractors, volunteers, visitors and self-employed people. If a whistleblower is treated less favourably or dismissed due to their actions, the employee may be able to submit a personal grievance claim.

Working from Home

An employee who either works from home or another premise that is not the workplace.

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular. It is cost effective for employers and offers greater flexibility for employees who need it. Employers still have a duty of care to monitor the health, safety and general wellbeing of home workers. People who work by themselves at home could also be exposed to greater risk.

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the proposed work environment is safe; that it uses compliant and ergonomical equipment, as well as has no risk of physical hazards.

WorkSafe New Zealand

New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator.

WorkSafe New Zealand is responsible for enforcing all regulations in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. The agency also enforces other notable acts such as the Mine Rescue Act 2013 and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

By engaging with all duty holders (i.e. businesses, employers, employees) across the country, WorkSafe New Zealand works to improve health and safety outcomes and minimise the risk of harm through targeted interventions.

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