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Employee? 3 Questions Employees Ask About Employment Law

Examples of what we help employees with:

Let’s take a closer look at questions we often get.

1. “Does this Restraint of Trade clause mean I can’t work in this industry again?”

We are often approached by employees who have been handed an employment agreement to sign before they start work, but they are concerned about what exactly it is that they are signing.

They may see a Restraint of Trade clause and wonder, “What are the implications of this for me?”, “Does it prevent me from getting a job in the same industry?".

On the face of it, a Restraint of Trade may appear unfair when it restrains a person from doing their normal type of work with another employer.

This clause can be a useful point for negotiation, and on many occasions it can be painlessly removed before the employee signs the document.

2. “What are my rights during drug tests/searches?”

Drug testing is conducted in many industries and workplaces throughout New Zealand.  It is the employer’s duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe working environment.

“Drugs” could mean prescription medication, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

A key point is that an employer’s right to undertake drug testing must be stated in your employment agreement.

For example you may see something like “You acknowledge that we may undertake a search for drugs and alcohol on our premises at any time that may include a drug dog, your personal belongings and any vehicle located on our premises". 

A clause like this permits random drug testing.

3. “Yikes, I’ve been issued a 3rd written warning! Can I be fired?”

Are you in the middle of a disciplinary process?

For example, you may have received your first written warning for swearing in the workplace or in front of customers.  And your second within 6 months when you were spotted smoking in a work vehicle. And now, you fear you are on your third strike because you’ve been called in for a meeting.

Questions you may be wondering right now:

Did you know...

What’s Next?

It is important to bear in mind that everyone’s situation is unique and any issue will turn on its own facts.  An underlying principle is that an employment relationship is a relationship of good faith and trust.

If you are an employee or employer dealing with any issue in the workplace, give us a call to help you reach resolution with your employment issues: