Navigating the employment landscape: Courts, good faith, and tikanga

  • Podcast

    28 February 2024

Navigating the employment landscape: Courts, good faith, and tikanga Desktop Image Navigating the employment landscape: Courts, good faith, and tikanga Mobile Image

This podcast episode with Partners June Hardacre and Gillian Service delves into two key aspects shaping the employment landscape in New Zealand. The first segment explores the concept of "good faith" in employment relationships. Recent cases underscore the significance of statutory consultation obligations, with potential penalties for breaching good faith. The second segment delves into the evolving role of tikanga (customary practices) in the workplace, highlighting its bespoke nature and the upcoming judgment on non-publication orders. The discussion raises considerations about open access to justice, the possibility of anonymous litigants, and the potential impact on litigation trends. The episode concludes by urging employers to closely monitor court decisions for shifts in workplace dynamics, suggesting a focus on judicial developments rather than parliamentary changes.

[00:01:00:05 - 00:07:39:13] Good faith in employment 

•    Good faith is a core concept in NZ employment relationships.
•    Both parties must engage actively, constructively, responsively, and communicatively.
•    Courts emphasize the evolving nature of good faith over time.
•    Recent cases highlight the importance of statutory consultation obligations.
•    Penalties for breaching good faith may be imposed more readily.

[00:07:39:15 - 00:13:57:06] Tikanga in the workplace 

•    Tikanga's role in the workplace evolving.
•    Courts recognize the bespoke nature of tikanga, tailored to individual relationships.
•    Discussion on the forthcoming judgment regarding non-publication orders.
•    Potential impact on open access to justice and the likelihood of anonymous litigants.
•    Consideration of increased litigation if barriers to anonymity are removed.

[00:13:57:06 - 00:15:57:23] Conclusion and what to watch 

•    Employers should watch court decisions closely for potential shifts in workplace dynamics.
•    Less focus on parliamentary changes, more on court decisions.

Information in this episode is accurate as at the date of recording, 25 January 2024.

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Please contact June Hardacre, Gillian Service or our Litigation team if you need legal advice and guidance on any of the topics discussed in the episode.

You can read our full Litigation Forecast 2024 article on employment litigation here.