Kirsten Maclean

Kirsten graduated from Otago University with a double degree in law and history.  Kirsten is a dispute resolution and employment specialist with over 20 years experience here and in the UK, and is a director at D’Arcy Thomson Law.



Now that there is certainty as to our Government for the next three years, we can also be sure that there will likely be some significant changes to the treatment of employees and employers under this new National lead Government.

In particular we are likely to see the following changes:

  1. Within the next 100 days the Fair Pay Act that was introduced by Labour to allow for industry-wide collective bargaining and minimum standards, is to be repealed as it was found to be too restrictive and prohibitive on businesses and therefore the economy.
  2. A reintroduction of the 90 day trial period across all business of any size.  Currently it is limited to businesses with 19 or less employees.  That restriction will almost certainly be removed.
  3. Driven by Act there may well be a restriction on the remedies that employee’s can seek from the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) and a time restriction place on Decisions. The proposal is Decisions must be given by the ERA within a month of hearing.
  4. National are also proposing to alter paid parental leave so that both parents can take paid leave at the same time.
  5. There is also a push to remove 2nd January from being a paid Public Holiday, to counter balance the additional costs for employers associated with introducing Matariki.
  6. There will be an opening of the borders and more incentives for overseas workers, including increasing the age cap on working holiday visas to 35 years of age, and allowing international students to work more hours while studying.
  7. It may also be likely that contractors will be prevented from challenging their status as employee in the Employment Relations Authority/Court.

While it is too early to say exactly when and how some (or all of these policies) will be implemented, it is clear that there will be a real swing back in favour of employers, and reducing the financial burden on employers, and particular small to medium sized business owners.

If you need any further information or clarification of the above feel free to contact, Kirsten Maclean, Director, D’Arcy Thomson Law.