Legal eagles...

More
13 years 10 months ago #14132 by betenoir
Legal eagles... was created by betenoir
Just looking for some guidance and advice for a good friend..maybe someone can help. They are employed as a driver. A few months ago the company brought in a new policy (without any consultation) and issued a directive that any driver found to be at fault when an accident in a company vehicle occured would be liable to pay whatever excess or cost the company incurred. Recently they had an accident (and although its not relevant to my questions I beleive they weren;t at fault but were allocated the wrong vehicle for the job) and have now been told $500 will be deducted from their pay. Is this a 'normal' occurence. My main concern is that the accident was investigated by the 'company' so its in their (financial)interests to find the driver was not at fault..therefore it could never be an impartial and fair investigation. I also have concerns that there was no consultation with unions and those with personal contracts..to me it looks like a substantial change to an employment contract.
All comments welcome

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217580 by NZ Appaloosas
Replied by NZ Appaloosas on topic Legal eagles...
Your friend needs to take their employment contract, a copy of the company's policy regarding this, and go see a lawyer, preferrably one very familiar with employment law.

Diane


Featuring Wap Spotted, sire of the first Wap Spot 2 grandget in Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand

On the first day God created horses. On the second day He spotted the best ones.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217604 by betenoir
Replied by betenoir on topic Legal eagles...
Yep thats pretty much what I suggested...trouble is they can't get to one for a couple of days ..in the meantime they are being pressured to sign to pay for the damage. I've strongly suggested they sign nothing without checking with a lawyer first and tell the company that.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217609 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Legal eagles...
From my understanding the Employer cannot change the terms of your employment without prior consultation with you. However, if they sent a notice to all drivers that this was the new policy, it is a mute point as to whether they were told and acepted the terms if they did not dispute this at the time.

Definitely raise it with the Union (if your friend is a member) and/or an Employment Lawyer. Just a note here that as in so many professions, there are experts in different areas e.g. you would not go to a gynocologist for a dislocated shoulder so make sure they find an expert in this field. Law Society MAY be able to help.

If all else fails - suggest they move to Auckland as there are plenty of Companies desperate for experienced truckers - particularly the higher classes. Keep us imformed - I would love to hear the outcome. Having said that, I think the Trucking Company has a right to expect their drivers will take all due care and consideration on the road. One up here last year I think was a driver planting his truck into a low bridge. It had a height restriction so why should the Truck Company wear his stupidity. Two sides to the story on this one isn't there?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217610 by jen
Replied by jen on topic Legal eagles...
Isn't there somewhere they can get a bit of free legal advice? Citizens advice bureau maybe? That should just be a phone call for a start, maybe they can tell him what to say to buy himself a few days. HE probably needs to get a copy of the report in writing along with anything he's being asked to sign. He might be able to fax copies to someone if he can't make an appointment straight off.

jen (returned to townie life)
community.webshots.com/user/j_nepton

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Jack
  • Jack's Avatar
13 years 10 months ago #217614 by Jack
Replied by Jack on topic Legal eagles...
Gidday

I suggest he contact the Department of Labour.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217619 by betenoir
Replied by betenoir on topic Legal eagles...
DiDi..cheers that just the sort of info I needed..and yep there are always two sides but in this case I'm pretty sure the driver is being 'shafted' due to 'financial problems' within the company. ...
There was a notice sent out with payslips recenty is there a time limit on appeals...coz the union rep just told the drivers to ignore it as the company wouldn't dare bring it in...!!

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217622 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Legal eagles...
Community Law Centre? I think they are the ones who give free legal advice.

I used to work for an employer who changed the employment contract and pressured everyone to sign. One interesting thing they took out was the redundancy clause - no more redundancy entitlements. So the employees got together and decided not to sign.

So what did the company do? They moved to Wellington from Christchurch and anyone who wanted to go to Wellington had to apply for a new job in Wellington which - of course - came with a new work contract and no redundancy clause. There were a few more things like 40 hours work per week instead of 37.5 without a pay increase and no long service leave, and and and

Their justification? They had to minimize their contingent liability. A year later the whole company was sold to the Aussies who made almost everyone redundant.

So - yes, a company can change the employment contract and by signing the new contract you accept the new conditions. If you don't want to accept it then don't sign it. That's when the union can give assistance with advice.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217654 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Legal eagles...
Agree with others - do NOT sign it. The company cannot change your existing employment contract without your agreement. Seek union advice - and if you aren't with a union, this is one of the reasons you should be with a union, because it will mean you'll have to get/pay for legal advice yourself rather than a collective of you splitting the costs.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217689 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Legal eagles...
Tell company he will sign nothing till his lawyer has seen it and site etc. is checked by dept of labour or osh has checked.That is his legal right.

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217692 by DiDi

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217697 by Pumpkingirl
Replied by Pumpkingirl on topic Legal eagles...
Wow, that article is really good Didi, it's exactly the same circumstances! Freaky.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217700 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Legal eagles...
Great article didi. Hinges on written consent, so again...do not sign anything!!!

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217706 by Seaside
Replied by Seaside on topic Legal eagles...
Like the article says, the employer cannot deduct money from wages UNLESS they have the employee's written consent (or they are legally obliged to, eg income tax). If they do not have the employees written consent, and there is a perceived 'debt' owed by the employee, then the employer must pay the wages owed in full, but they can apply to the Employment Relations Authority who can issue an order for the employee to reimburse the employer (if the Authority agrees there is a debt).

As for introducing a new policy, the employer must consult with employees, give them the opportunity to raise issues, and the employer must respond to those issues. However, so long as all this is done and the employer has followed a fair process, then it is possible to introduce a policy that the employees don't agree with. There was a case recently where the employer wanted to introduce urine drug tests, they consulted and the union objected. The Court held that the new policy for urine drug test was reasonable and could be unilaterally imposed - in the circumstances (it wouldn't necessarily always been). Changing the written employment agreement unilaterally, however, is a different kettle of fish.

Your friend's first point of call would be the Employment Relations Service - they are really good and free (it's part of the government). 0800 20 90 20. He/she should keep notes of all conversations, copies of written communications, etc, especially anything that suggests that they are being forced to sign the deductions consent under duress.

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 10 months ago #217724 by Prim
Replied by Prim on topic Legal eagles...
Just a suggestion, it may have paid for your friend, betenoir, to have involved a third party at the accident scene. A witness, or the police, who may now be in a position to defend their not-at-fault plea.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.247 seconds