The Employment Dispute Experts

Throughout New Zealand
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Employment Law Blog

we win more often!

It's all about the evidence.

If you have an issue, it's really important to keep as much evidence as you can, because employment law works slightly different to criminal law. Employment law doesn't require "beyond reasonable doubt", but instead works on the balance of probabilities, so evidence is crucial to ensure your side is the one with the most of that balance.

Feel free to call us to discuss how to make sure you stay on top of the situation.

The Minister in charge of MBIE, and therefore the ERA, is looking to make changes to the industry, driven in large part by unscrupulous operators in the advocacy space - some of whom we've highlighted in the past.

Unfair.co.nz fully supports professionalisation of the industry, much as Immigration Consultants became forced to gain or hold relevant qualifications and/or experience.

More to come on this.

Something happened the other day that I'd never seen anyone try before.

A company read the legislation and had figured trial periods like this: "If we hire a temp, through an agency, they aren't employed by us, so if we like them, we can then offer them a trial period when we employ them ourselves!"

Geniuses, no doubt.

Except the idea is complete nonsense.

If you complete an unpaid trial your employer is unable to use a trial period, and it's absolutely impossible to have someone temping in a job and then claim that employment doesn't count.

If you've been disadvantaged by this kind of stupidity by an employer, call me now and I'll take them to the cleaners. [too!]

Were you aware that a significant majority of cases are solved long before mediation?

We are experts at negotiating with employers and their lawyers and that's often enough to get things done, so don't necessarily think the process will take months. It is estimated that some 10% of cases we handle are solved within the first week of making a claim - even occasionally on the very same day the claim is lodged.

Are you currently employed as a labour-only contractor in the construction industry?

Were you aware that this type of employment is specifically illegal in terms of apprentice legislation?

The industry bodies, chiefly BCITO, are well aware of this fact but choose to turn a blind eye to the legislation, because it suits builders and developers and without that blind eye those construction employers might not continue to build houses.

Unfair.co.nz is committed to fighting this blatant disregard for the laws of employment and apprentices.

If you have at any stage been dismissed from this type of employment situation, please call us on 0800 UNFAIR (0800 863 247) and we will take your case on, no matter how far past the 90-day rule it is.

Unfair.co.nz will pay for any application for the case to be heard outside of time reference, and only our usual No-Win, No-Fee costs will apply to the case itself.

Why are we doing this?

As an employment advocacy firm, I believe it is our responsibility to take on the establishment when it is the entire establishment at fault. Nobody else is trying to protect the rights, holiday pay, annual leave, sick leave and many other provisions the Employment Relations Act ensures.

In the case of the thousands (yes, thousands!) of illegal apprenticeship agreements in force right now, it is being allowed by an apathetic (and pathetic) government because it serves their agenda. It is being enforced by a culture of self-entitlement within the construction industry and enabled by regulators who will roll over rather than enforce fairness and equity in employment.


A recent case saw our advocate Andrea Kelleher gaining $17,500 in compensation, plus over $10,000 in lost wages.

Details here.

That's just one of the continuing success of Unfair.co.nz's advocates. Here are details of a few other wins at ERA Tribunals:

$18,000 plus lost wages by David Balfour

Details here.

$10,000 in lost wages and compensation.

Details here.

Those are just a selection of cases at the ERA, and those cases are a fraction of what we do.

All of our advocates have successes each week, but as most are gained through Mediation rather than the ERA and therefore remain confidential, we are unable to divulge those details.

If you think you have a case, you need to talk to trusted professionals.

Call Unfair.co.nz

January 2017

A new year, but the same old service - Unfair.co.nz wins more often, charges less and is your best resource for personal grievances!

April 2016

An employee who had been fired yesterday phoned for help.

I spoke to his employer this morning about the situation.

In the space of half an hour, I had convinced both parties the best way forward was to forget yesterday ever happened, shake hands and continue the employment, on the basis that it was an appropriate and fair outcome, with both sides giving a little ground and showing their maturity by being able to get over what was essentially a stupid argument.

Case closed, and at 9:40 am, the employee is on his way to work.

Cost $0-00

Find a lawyer or other advocate who will do that for you.

Alan Charman


Big win by unfair.co.nz





Press release 11 March 2016:


6:00 pm for immediate release

Pedersen Industries Ltd, a large timber milling company of Rotorua, has been ordered to pay $23,000 plus lost wages to a former employee in a judgement released today by the Employment Relations Authority.

John Waititi was dismissed over an alleged incident in late 2013, after having been employed for ten years in his role as vehicle operator.

The Authority member, Eleanor Robinson found that the company had failed to carry out a sufficient investigation before dismissing Mr Waititi and a payment of $18,000 to compensate for hurt and humiliation caused by the company's incorrect actions. A further $5000 in punitive damages for breach of faith.

Mr Waititi was represented by David Balfour, Central North Island Advocate for Unfair.co.nz.

Story in Stuff here.


Your agreement:

Did you know?

...that you must be given an employment agreement prior to commencing a job? If you aren't, the 90-day clause will be deemed invalid.

...that 90-day trial clauses must be written in a specific format or they will be struck out.

...that you are due to receive holiday pay on all earnings, including pay in lieu of notice.

These are just a few of the questions we answer every day - there are lots of issues with employment and agreements that people aren't aware of. Get the help of a professional on 0800 UNFAIR right now.itly set forth in the separate license agreement.


Lawyers v advocates:

Lawyers can cost more than the compensation

The absolute importance of having a no-win, no-fee advocate was underlined at the Employment Court recently. A person who was awarded $8,598 from his ex-employer, plus $4500 costs, was found to have spent over $24,000 in legal fees!

Imagine winning a case and it ending up costing you a net twelve grand. That cannot happen with Unfair.co.nz. Our fee for the entire process would have been the costs awarded only, giving you the 100% of the $8598 compensation.

If you have any doubts about the facts, they are all here, in the Employment Court records.

Important note re: Apprentice Builders

Are you a building apprentice employed as a labour-only contractor? If so, please read this:

We have seen an explosion of this arrangement, and in our opinion, it is unreasonable and we firmly believe it is a situation crying out to be taken to the Employment Court. We believe an apprentice cannot be employed as a labour-only contractor and is being done a a sop to builders who think they have the upper hand. More detail on this story here.

We have strong support in our belief and desire to take a case, and we are prepared to pay all expenses.

This is a case that will benefit hundreds of young builders, so have a think about your situation, and if you want to change it so that apprentices have the protection of the Employment Act, as they rightly should, talk to us now. Call 0800 UNFAIR for a confidential talk.

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Throughout New Zealand


0800 863 247

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