Employment Law, Government & Legislation

Whats going on…in Europe and elsewhere

A lot, actually, and its hard to keep track. Even better, then, that some law firms do that kind of work for you (me) and publish very detailed and informative news bulletins covering recent developments in the area of International Employment Law. Noteworthy items include:


  • all workers are now entitled to 4 weeks paid holidays (same as in New Zealand)
  • sick days during period of leave can be claimed back as holidays (there is no case law on this in New Zealand, but bound to come up sooner rather than later)
  • Lapdance held to be an employee and not a contractor, as there was sufficient degree of control (confirming old case law principles, which equally apply in NZ/ Australia)
  • Termination because of an HIV infection is not discrimantion (though in the case the employee was involved in drug production, which created a sufficient HSE risk to justify the dismissal; without that nexus, the decision would have probably been different).

And in the US, an administrative court in California held that comments on facebook by employees about their employer can be protected under Section 7 of the National Labour Relations Act ( which grants employees the right to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”). This is a novel argument which so far has not been raised in any NZ case. But union activities are also protected under the ERA, so we might see that argument in a NZ context at some point (though one has to keep in mind that unions in the US have always been much stronger than in NZ and also exercise considerably more political influence nationwide).