Hot heads, walk outs, and cool downs – a warning note for employers

Written by Jack Brown – Solicitor (Employment)

Picture this: Following a heated argument, an employee tells their boss to ‘stuff’ their job and leaves in a huff. Or an employee storms out of a disciplinary meeting claiming it is unfair and they quit. Seems pretty straightforward right, the employee has resigned?  Not quite…
While a statement or action by an employee may appear to be an unequivocal resignation, an employer who attempts to rely on such a statement or action which has arisen in the ‘heat of the moment’ may find itself in hot water and exposed to the risk of a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.

Read more here.

Property syndicates – the lowdown

Written by Jeroen Vink - Associate (Property)

There has been a lot of activity in the property syndication market in the last few years. You might have thought about investing in a property syndicate or even looked at establishing one. We give you the lowdown on what it’s all about.

A property syndicate is a group of investors coming together to pool their capital to own one or more properties.  Syndicates are seen as a way for smaller investors to obtain reasonably stable investments at a better return then their own limited capital could otherwise achieve in the investment property market. They are also a way for larger investors to diversify their property portfolio. There are various forms of syndication ranging from small groups of investors to large syndication entities. This article gives an overview of property syndication in New Zealand.

Read more here.

Do I need a will?

Written by Rebecca Collins - Associate (Trusts and Estates)

A lot of clients ask us if they need a Will. Our answer is always “yes”.
The truth is, that not having a Will creates added expense, time and complexity to your estate administration. It also leaves your family in doubt as to what your wishes really were.             
Following someone’s death, any asset over $15,000 or piece of land that is not owned jointly with another person, requires a grant of administration from the High Court.  If you have a Will, this grant is called probate and is relatively simple.  If you do not have a Will, then a family member must apply for letters of administration on intestacy which is a more complicated process.  The Administration Act 1969 sets out who is to administer your estate and who receives your assets in this situation.

Read more here.

KiwiSaver – I thought it was mine?

Written by Esther Jones - Associate (Relationships)

A recent survey conducted by Westpac, of their members, found that just 25 per cent knew that the funds in KiwiSaver could be split between a separating or divorcing couple.

The law in New Zealand (as set out in the Property (Relationships) Act 1976) in relation to KiwiSaver, and most other superannuation schemes, classifies the proportion of the value of any superannuation scheme entitlements attributable to the marriage, civil union or de facto relationship as relationship property.  Relationship property is generally divided equally between parties on separation.  This means that the increase in value of your KiwiSaver account from the time your relationship started will likely be considered to be relationship property in which your partner is entitled to an equal share.  This is the case irrespective of whether the funds came from individual, government or employer contributions.

Read more here.

The cost of compliance

Written by Emily Nind - Senior Associate (Property)

The past few years have seen a number of law changes which have impacted our service with no real value added to the transactions we complete for our clients. To name but a few, there has been increased compliance with the introduction of the Bright line test and the associated land transfer tax statement, and an increased level of form filling has become the norm due to common reporting standards, and the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT). It doesn’t stop there. Phase two of AML/CFT is due to come into force in July 2018 and will directly affect lawyers and as a result our clients.

Read more here.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has teeth

Written by Ashley-Jayne Lodge - Partner (Employment)

it wasn’t clear beforehand, it should be clear now – the penalties being handed out for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) are large, and could cripple a business, particularly small operators. There are likely to be companies that will cease trading as a result of a WorkSafe prosecution under the HSWA.

Read more here.


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