Judgments of note 2022

[2022] NZEmpC 78 Vulcan Steel Ltd v Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union [PDF, 409 KB] (Judgment of the Full Court, 11 May 2022) INTERPRETATION OF COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT - IMPLICATION OF TERM - DRUG TESTING - whether term should be implied to allow employer to select method of drug testing - parties cannot be understood to have agreed on the correct approach - term sought is not so obvious it goes without saying - implication of term is not appropriate.

[2022] NZEmpC 77 Courage v Attorney-General [PDF, 435 KB] (Judgment of Chief Judge Christina Inglis, 10 May 2022) NATURE OF EMPLOYMENT – religious community – family relationship – plaintiffs were working and the work could not be described as chores – minors have legal capacity to enter into employment relationship – plaintiffs were rewarded with necessities of living and thus not volunteers -  plaintiffs were employees.

[2022] NZEmpC 75 Tranzurban Hutt Valley Ltd v New Zealand Tramways and Public Passenger Transport Employees Union Wellington Inc [PDF, 314 KB] (Judgment of Judge B A Corkill, 9 May 2022) REST AND MEAL BREAKS – Employment Relations Act 2000, pt 6D – work period – split shifts – work period is question of fact – whether distinct shifts worked are separate work periods is to be calculated by reference to actual hours an employee is required to perform work duties which include authorised rest and meal breaks in that period and in light of what has been expressly agreed by parties – bus drivers. 

[2022] NZEmpC 52 Fechney v Employment Relations Authority [PDF, 382 KB] (Judgment of Judge J C Holden, 23 March 2022) APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW – Employment Relations Act 2000, s 184 restricts grounds of review for Employment Relations Authority determinations – natural justice not a ground of review – no bad faith by Employment Relations Authority – application declined.

[2022] NZEmpC 48 E Tu Inc v Mount Cook Airline Ltd [PDF, 314 KB] (Judgment of Judge K G Smith, 18 March 2022) MINIMUM WAGE ACT – SLEEPOVER – whether cabin crew staff were working while stationed away from home – no restriction during time away – sleepovers were not work – INTERPRETATION OF MINIMUM WAGE ORDER – whether part-time salaried workers were being paid minimum wage – Minimum Wage Order is clear – part-time salaried workers must receive at least the amount specified in cl 4(d).

[2022] NZEmpC 39 Malcolm v The Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections [PDF, 332 KB] (Judgment of Judge B A Corkill, 9 March 2022) APPLICATION TO STRIKE OUT PROCEEDING – amended statement of claim challenged lawfulness of COVID-19 Vaccinations Order – Employment Court no jurisdiction to determine lawfulness of Order – no reasonably arguable cause of action – application granted.

[2022] NZEmpC 5 VMR v Civil Aviation Authority (external link)[2022](external link) (Judgment of Judge B A Corkill, 24 January 2022) APPLICATION FOR INTERIM REINSTATEMENT – weakly arguable case for unjustifiable dismissal – weakly arguable case for permanent reinstatement – employing unvaccinated workers likely to be in breach of COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 – reinstatement would not be appropriate if it would lead to a breach by the employer – balance of convenience weighs against interim reinstatement – application declined - APPLICATION FOR INTERIM NON-PUBLICATION – non-publication granted in other jurisdictions – significant public interest in mandatory vaccinations – application granted.