Well the months are flying by, and the evenings and days are getting cooler. It’s that time of year when we dig out heaters and electric blankets - just remember to get such appliances checked if they haven’t been used for a while.
CLM is now entering our final quarter for this financial year and are running above target for client numbers and education seminars provided to our community. Our statistics tell us that we have a large number of enquiries about Employment, Family, Consumer, Immigration, Police and civil matters. In addition to our core work we are also out and about giving talks to groups, so if you would like to have a quest speaker at your next meeting, give us a call we would love to tell you about Community law, what we do or perhaps you would like us to talk about a specific topic.
Lastly all this great work cannot be completed without the dedicated and fantastic staff of CLM so thank you team.
After an absence of 14 years, Community Law Marlborough is very excited to welcome Jenni back to the fold; Jenni worked at CLM from 1999 to 2001.
With a background in social work, Jenni left us to work as Victims Advisor at the Blenheim Court. She then transferred to the Family Court where she worked as a Deputy Registrar for seven years.
Most recently Jenni has been working in a law office.
Jenni says she is pleased to return to a community based organization and is looking forward to working directly with clients again.
Both CLM clients and staff will benefit immensely from Jenni’s experience.
Community Law Marlborough - Out and about!
Not only do Community Law Marlborough assist clients directly, but we are also working within the community to promote access to justice, empower individuals through community action and provide information to service providers.
Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt day is coming up on 22 May 2015
check out http://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz for ideas about taking action to create positive change in social relationships.
Kaikoura Violence Free Network are running a Positively Pink Kaikoura, paint the town Pink campaign, standing together against bullying
“Pink Shirt Day is about working together to prevent or stop bullying by celebrating people's difference and promoting positive relationships. An annual event celebrated in many countries around the world, Pink Shirt Day encourages people to talk about bullying and take action against it.
On Pink Shirt Day, Friday 22 May 2015,
we ask New Zealanders to
Speak up, Stand together & Stop bullying.
Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007. A group of students decided to defend a kid who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, many of his peers turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts, and Pink Shirt Day was born. By wearing a pink shirt, people identify themselves as an ally.
This is happening from 23 to 31 May.
Community Law Marlborough in conjunction with the Youth Council of Blenheim is planning a quiz night. At this stage the quiz is planned for 24 May, venue to be confirmed. Check out our facebook page for updates, and confirmation of date and venue.
The United Nations has designated June 15 2015 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2015.
Look out for activities happening in Blenheim which are being planned over the period of the week beginning 15 June, which aim to raise awareness about this issue.
Lunchtime law sessions commence at 12.10pm and finish at 12.50pm
This programme continues. Lunch time law is aimed at members of the public and is free to attend. Topics for the May sessions include Wills, Trusts and Enduring Powers of Attorney. June topics are focused on traffic offences and limited licences.
Hot topics - Adoption
Recently CLM has had some enquiries about Adoption. The Adoption Act 1955 (the Act) is the law which governs adoption. There is debate about the relevancy and appropriateness of this Act in the context of today’s society. Adoption effectively extinguishes the rights of a birth parent. In the context of families where children have different parents and the non-birth parent wishes to adopt the child of the parent they are in a relationship with, this can have a significant and long lasting effect on the other parent of the child. There are alternative options available such as appointing an additional guardian. If you or someone you know is considering Adoption, CLM can provide further information about these issues.
Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act – is getting an overhaul. New changes come into effect in June this year. For more information check out our article published in the Mid Week Marlborough (22 April 2015) which summarises some of those changes.
Also watch out for changes to health and safety in the workplace legislation. Changes will come into effect later on this year, and will make significant changes to this area of law.
Employment law changes which have come into effect
extending the right to request flexible working arrangements to all employees;
how employers and employees should agree on rest and meal breaks;
establishing a process for the transfer of employees in some industries if there is a restructure in the business or a change in business owner;
clarifying the confidential information that employers are obliged to give to affected employees in dismissal or redundancy situations
changes to collective bargaining: reaching new collective agreements, opting out of multi-employer bargaining, removing the 30 day rule for new, non-union employees and allowing pay deductions of employees who take part in partial strikes;
setting time frames for the Employment Relations Authority to make determinations in an employment dispute.
Changes to the minimum wage
New Minimum Wage as of 1 April 2015:
Adult minimum wage for employees aged 16 or over is $14.75
Starting out wage and training minimum wage is $11.80
Changes to Paid Parental leave effective 1 April 2015:
These changes extend the maximum amount payable from 14 to 16 weeks.
Update from Government Agencies
Office of the Banking Ombudsman has issued a new guide which explains privacy and confidentiality complaints about banks.
The guide covers circumstances in which:
A bank is compelled by law to disclose information
A bank has a public duty to disclose information
A bank is required to act if a customer agrees to information disclosure and explains how the Office approaches complaints about a bank sharing information it shouldn’t have.