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Employment New Zealand

Do you pay workers for their time in putting on and taking off safety gear?

We've found this decision interesting – many companies will not have paid employees for the time taken to put off and off safety gear!

In the meat industry, it does take quite a bit of time with the food and hygiene regulations to put on and off gear, and staff do have to take their gear on and off multiple times a day. The Employment Court accepted evidence that on average it takes 15-20 minutes a day for each worker.

Does this apply to the construction industry which also has a lot of safety gear?

Well, it would really depend on the extent of the “work” required by the employees in putting on their safety gear. When it is as simple as an employee pulling on high vis clothing when they get out of bed in the morning, then that wouldn’t be “work”. However, when it is more complex, say an employee needing to get harnessed up for work at heights, then that would be “work” in our view.

There is no definition of “work” in the Minimum Wage Act and the Courts have held that what constitutes work will always be case specific. The Court of Appeal has said though that, the greater the constraints on an employee, the greater the responsibilities and the greater the benefit to the employer, the more likely it is that the activity in question ought to be regarded as work.

If you’d like to chat about your circumstances, feel free to get in touch.

A 2018 decision by the Employment Court found that meat workers should be paid for the 20-30 minutes a day it takes to put on and take off clothing required for safety and hygiene - also called 'donning' and 'doffing'. Meat workers on piece or hourly rates qualify for this pay to be backdated six years.

Read the article: https://bit.ly/37vMgED



Introducing Gemma Rutherford!

Gemma is not only a property law specialist, but - first and foremost - a people person! She loves to make all property transactions as stress-free as possible for her clients, and her 10-plus years of experience in property law means that she can.

Whether you are a first home buyer needing help with the whole process, or a developer or investor who just wants her to ‘take care of it’, you can relax knowing you are in good hands.

One thing we think Gemma is best at is negotiating practical solutions where an issue comes up. We don’t want to be the type of lawyers who immediately jump to expensive court processes as a solution, rather than negotiating using common sense to get the matter settled. If you want a lawyer who wants to work out a deal on your property transaction, rather than be a deal-killer, get in touch.

overendlaw.com 05/11/2019

Why I'm giving away legal advice for free

I’ve got an idea to try to improve the construction industry, and I hope you’ll want to be part of it.

Check it out here: https://www.overendlaw.com/post/why-i-m-giving-away-legal-advice-for-free

overendlaw.com It sounds very strange, doesn’t it? After all, aren’t lawyers known for charging like wounded bulls, from every minute of time they spend thinking about your is


OverendLaw's cover photo


We are going to be at the Auckland Home Show! If you've got cross lease queries, subdivision queries or general property queries, come along and have a chat.

Auckland Home Show kicks off next week. This is the first time that we are attending the show and our friendly team are looking forward to being there and answer any questions you have about cross leases.

You can find us in Hall 10 site number 1094

We look forward to seeing you!


We had a great turnout with the second webinar in our CCH Learning Building Law Series 2019.

This one was the flip-side of our first webinar -- this time looking at building contracts from a homeowner's point of view.

The webinar is now available on demand here: https://www.cchlearning.co.nz/events/2042-advising-homeowners-on-building-contracts-30-july-2019-on-demand/


The webinars for our CCH Learning Building Law Series 2019 are now available on demand!

Check out the first in the series:

Terms of Trade for Building Companies -- what should go in them, what shouldn't and why.



We've updated our website! Check out the resources and other information now available. www.overendlaw.com


OverendLaw's cover photo


Really pleased to have made the Doyles Guide for construction, projects & infrastructure lawyers again for 2019. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback. https://doylesguide.com/leading-construction-projects-infrastructure-lawyers-new-zealand-2019/


OverendLaw is moving to a toll-free number to make it easier for you to get in touch -- wherever you are.

With effect from today, 0508 OVEREND (0508 68 37 36) will be our main line, replacing all other landlines in use. Our fax number and mobile numbers remain unchanged.

Please update your contact information, and we look forward to hearing from you on the new number.


OverendLaw's cover photo


Have you heard about the building law reform package currently under consultation?

These are the most significant reforms since the current Building Act was introduced in 2004. The proposals have been divided into 5 parts, and we'll be discussing these in separate posts.

If you want to take a look at the whole package being proposed, check out https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/building-system-legislative-reform-programme-public-consultation/

Submissions are due by 16 June 2019. If you'd like to chat about how you can make a submission, or would like some help to make one, get in touch.

nzherald.co.nz 14/05/2019

Healthy homes: Final standards to be released outlining minimum requirements for rental properties

Final standards are going to be released this week setting minimum requirements for rental properties. Watch this space for the details.


nzherald.co.nz The final standards for healthy home requirements will be released on Thursday, May 16.


Great session tonight in Hamilton, discussing insurance and construction contracts. Thanks to the Society of Construction Law for giving us the opportunity to host this event livestreaming the presentation by Donald Gardner of Marsh directly into the Waikato.

[05/13/19]   Don't forget about the session we are hosting on insurance & construction contracts in Hamilton tomorrow night! Last chance to register -- please see below for details.


We often get asked about the '1/2 share' status of your typical cross lease.

With a cross lease, you get a 'composite' title. This quite literally means that you get a title made up of two parts.

One of these parts is the leasehold interest (this is the lease part of your cross lease). This is the area you are entitled to occupy -- made up of your buildings and any exclusive area.

The other part is the land interest. Essentially, you share an interest in the underlying land with your neighbour. This is an undivided share, so a 1/2 share doesn't necessarily mean that you actually get 1/2 the land. It just means that there are two separate flats on the title. (If we were going to get legally technical, it also means that if you die, there isn't a 'right of survivorship', so your interest in the property goes to your heirs, not to your neighbour.)

In actual fact, the area that you are entitled to occupy -- the actual share of the land you are buying -- could be much less (or more) than 50% of the total area. It could be 60:40, or even 70:30, depending on the size of the buildings and the way that your exclusive area has been set out.

If you would like some help with your cross lease, or if you are thinking of buying one, please get in touch. If you are thinking of converting to a fee simple title, check out more information at www.goodtitle.co.nz .


Keeping company records

We promised in an earlier post to let you know about the company records directors are required by law to keep.

But wait a second! Doesn't the Companies Office have all my records?

No, while you need to file a lot of records with the Companies Office, you are also required to keep these, and a lot more, at your company's registered office.

We recommend that you get a ringbinder (or sometimes two), and some tabs, and start filing. The first thing to make sure that you have in place are your registers:

- Your directors' register (who your directors are, their names, addresses and consent forms).
- Your share register (who your shareholders are, and recording all share transactions).
- Your directors' interests register (what other companies or interests your directors have that might affect their decision-making).

Watch this space for more information on company documents you need. You can also find out more information here:


companies-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz Companies Office on Facebook

newshub.co.nz 07/05/2019

The new meal and rest break laws - how they affect you

This week some significant amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 have come into effect. These amendments include set rest and meal breaks returning to the legislation and 90 day trial periods now being restricted to businesses with 19 or fewer employees. Rachel Webster of our team has extensive employment law experience. If you'd like a no-obligation chat about this might affect your business, please get in touch.


newshub.co.nz Workers now have more rights to rest and meal breaks than they had on Sunday.


We'd like to introduce you to Rachel Webster, a key member of our team.

Rachel's got a fantastic background which comes from her extensive experience gained from General Counsel and other senior in-house positions with large New Zealand companies.

This 'at the coalface' experience means that Rachel gives pragmatic, strategic solutions to your legal issues.

In addition to general construction and property work, Rachel has particular expertise and interest in health and safety issues (including WorkSafe investigations and issues), employment law (including independent contractor arrangements), and intellectual property law, including issues relating to copyright in architectural design.

Want to get in touch? Check out Rachel's contact details at https://www.overendlaw.com/about-us or message us for details.

stuff.co.nz 29/04/2019

Kaikōura farmer's standoff over Emissions Trading Scheme fines for cleared pines

Another rural property issue today. This farmer who wanted to return land to native bush was fined $85,000 for felling Emissions Trading Scheme pine trees.

He said he recalled seeing something about the Kyoto Protocol in the deed when he bought the farm.
"But I didn't know what that meant," he said.

Please -- if you see anything on a title that you don't understand, ask questions -- get your lawyer to explain everything to you so that you do know exactly what you are buying. It can be expensive if you don't.


stuff.co.nz Farmer fined $85,000 for felling Emissions Trading Scheme pine trees in plan to return the land to native bush.

stuff.co.nz 26/04/2019

Neighbour cuts shared water supply over wedding venue fight

A Dunedin neighbour was able to cut off his neighbour's water supply after being unhappy the property was used as a wedding venue. Do you have an informal water supply? Are you looking at buying a property with an agreement as to water?

Don't get caught out and be at risk of having your water turned off.
Make sure you get the agreement documented and registered on the title as a formal easement. Get in touch to find out more.


stuff.co.nz A pair of Dunedin neighbours - one with reticulated water and the other without - have stopped sharing water after a dispute over a wedding venue.

settled.govt.nz 24/04/2019

What to ask a lawyer when buying a house | Settled.govt.nz

7 things to ask a lawyer before buying a house:

A lawyer is a big part of buying a house (well, of course we think so :)).
Whether you are buying a house for the first or the tenth time, make sure you are comfortable with the process. There's lots of useful information at settled.govt.nz. Take a look at the 7 things you should ask your lawyer before buying that house.


settled.govt.nz Learn what questions to ask a lawyer when you’re buying a property in New Zealand.

nzherald.co.nz 23/04/2019

Mainzeal decision opens insurance payout can of worms

The Mainzeal collapse - lesson for directors #3: Director insurance.

One of the things the Mainzeal directors will be thankful for is that they took out directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance. If you don't have this as a director, consider it -- even if it doesn't cover everything (it won't cover health & safety fines for example), it will cover your legal costs of dealing with a claim.

But don't just assume that your company is legally able to take out this insurance. Many companies get incorporated without putting a constitution in place.

This can be a problem -- the Companies Act doesn't actually let companies insure or indemnify their directors or employees unless there is an express provision in their constitution allowing this.

It’s a simple fix – the company just needs a package of documents to put in place the constitution and indemnity for its directors and officers. We can do this quickly and easily -- get in touch today if you'd like to find out more.


nzherald.co.nz Who gets up to $23 million of liability insurance payouts to cover $36m?

nzherald.co.nz 20/04/2019

Auckland couple's legal wrangle to get driveway, fences, landscaping with 'affordable house'

5 reasons why homeowners need to get legal advice on building contracts:

1. It's a major asset.

Even at an 'affordable house' level, any contract worth 1/2 a million dollars (or more!) is a lot of money. That's the amount of money at risk if you don't get it right.

2. It's a major contract.

A building contract is not an easy contract. It's not as straight-forward as buying 40 widgets for a set sum of money. There are a lot of variables in there, and a lot of unknowns.

3. It's a lengthy time period.

There's a long time between signing and completing the house. Things can change over this period ranging from personal circumstances to general market circumstances (and even occasionally things out of your control like earthquakes). The contract needs to be able to deal with this.

4. There's an emotional connection for the buyer.

The case below is unfortunately one of those times where the buyer did get legal advice but they were so emotionally invested in the deal, they ignored it. At least they were warned. We see many customers come to us after signing without knowing what they were getting themselves into.

5. Unrealistic expectations can clash against industry terms.

We are not saying that the couple below were unrealistic in this case, but often we see buyers not understanding industry terminology commonly used in building contracts. This is a recipe for disaster when both the builder and the homeowner can feel aggrieved. It's especially the case when a homeowner has an unrealistic expectation as to how a build process goes, and this clashes against standard contract terms that are written by, and often strongly favour, the building industry.


nzherald.co.nz For two first-time Auckland homebuyers, the purchase price came with some added extras.


We are spending time with our families hunting for Easter eggs from Friday 19th April to Monday, 22nd April.

We’ll be back on deck and would love to hear from you again on Tuesday, 23rd April.


Mainzeal judgment brings lessons in corporate governance

The Mainzeal collapse - lesson for directors #2: Have you got your house in order?

One of the big criticisms of the judge of the Mainzeal directors was their lack of formal procedures. They didn't have a formal risk register nor, for the size of the company, a formal audit committee.

While you might not go to that extent in a small company, we do see many companies that don't realise what they are legally required to do as far as legal documentation goes. Failing to keep the right documentation could expose you to fines of up to $10,000.

Watch this space for updates as to the records a company is required to hold, or (if you'd like to know right now) email or message us and we'll send you a checklist.


newsroom.co.nz Newsroom is an independent, New Zealand-based news and current affairs site.

Hi, I’m Karen Overend

I've been advising construction and property development businesses for over 20 years, from billion-dollar organisations to one-man-bands. My goal now is to level the information playing field for small to medium-sized businesses. I have lots of cost-effective tips and tricks to help your business protect itself and get paid.




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