A Portrait of Redundancy Law in New Zealand
Hughes, Sarah Joanne
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Laws
This paper analyses the law of redundancy in New Zealand, from its historical background through to current developments which have impacted, or are likely to impact on its interpretation and application in the future. The paper specifically questions whether current substantive and procedural requirements for redundancy, as construed by the Courts, are in keeping with the intentions underpinning the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), in particular, whether they fit with the principle of good faith and whether they provide an equal balance between the rights of the employer and the rights of the employees. It focuses on the common law that has developed around redundancy issues largely under the personal grievance regime. In order to consider accurately these issues, the paper initially outlines the history of redundancy law, key legislative concepts and the New Zealand environment. Following this, discussion on both the procedural and substantive elements of redundancy law is outlined. It is through this analysis that symptomatic issues within each aspect of the current law are addressed and appropriately explored. Finally, new governmental and legislative developments are discussed prior to a broad conclusion being established. This addresses the key questions outlined above, as well as the supplementary issues identified within this paper. The conclusion advocates that redundancy law in New Zealand is in need of change and that the best method to achieve this is through legislation.