Firstly our thoughts go out to all the people affected by the recent and ongoing earthquakes, and much thanks to the Communities, Agencies, Volunteers, everyone who is pitching in at this time, a show of how unique we are in times of need.
We have put some information on our website that may assist you with your Employment or Tenancy status during this time. Thanks to Canterbury Community Law Centre who have sent through these resources.
Finally as this is our last newsletter for 2016 we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout the year
Have a safe Christmas, see you in 2017
Nga mihi nui Stephanie
Six years on from the first Christchurch quake, here we are again, afflicted by earthquakes and all those aftershocks. Having learnt from the Christchurch and Seddon experiences, Community Law Canterbury has prepared some fact sheets, and these have been adapted for the Marlborough community and are available through Community Law Marlborough (CLM).
The fact sheets cover the following topics:
Already CLM has had clients call in experiencing earthquake related employment issues. If you think your employer is not treating you right call in and have a chat to CLM. We can also assist with other earthquake related matters.
As we approach the festive season, and the credit card takes a hammering purchasing all those prezzies for our loved ones, it is timely to consider how to protect one's self from the consequences of over extending the credit limit and getting into debt.
The first thing is to have a budget, and stick to it. Of course if it were that easy I would not be sitting at the computer writing this!
Debt is sneaky, while initially it appears manageable, it can very soon escalate into an uncontrollable beast. So what should you do if you find yourself in debt?
Establish whether the debt is legally enforceable,
Get budget advice,
Discuss the situation with the creditor (the person who is owed the money),
Consider other options if you are not in a position to repay the debt.
Ignore the debt, it will not go away, interest will accrue and what started out as small and manageable will become large and out of control.
Residential Tenancies Act
Changes have been made to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). These are around the requirement for premises to be insulated, and statements on tenancy agreements about the status of insulation.
The law has changes to reflect the requirement for installation of fire alarms and when these need to be photoelectric.
There has also been changes around when the Ministry of Business and Innovation and Employment will investigate breaches of the RTA and how the Tenancy Tribunal will hear and deal with applications regarding abandonment of the tenancy.
Employment law has also been considered by parliament, and some changes made. Some of these changes are:
where the employer and employee agree to a set number of hours, they will be required to state those hours in the employment agreement;
reasonable notice must be given to employees where shifts are cancelled, if not the employee is entitled to compensation;
loosening up of the restrictions on employees gaining secondary employment; and
preventing employers making unreasonable deductions from employees' wages.
Changing the law
Not only can CLM assist with legal issues you may be experiencing, we can also assist if you are wanting to make a submission to a Select Committee about a Bill they are considering.
If there is a Bill you would like to have a say about, the submission process is the way to do this. Once the Bill is passed into law it is no longer possible to influence it.