Complicated employment law could lead to errors on the part of small business owners, according to some legal experts.
At a briefing in Auckland last week, associate law professor Bill Hodge, of Auckland University, told the audience that although some of the current amendments before parliament were good news for employers, some were difficult to grasp.
“I’m trying to keep up with the changes. How do small businesses expect to keep up with them?” he asked, as reported by Business Day. Hodge asserted that such legislation was normally written by larger ‘players’ such as unions, big businesses, and large law firms.
A lack of understanding of the relevant law could be particulary treacherous for SMEs, since they do not have the resources to contact a lawyer whenever they encounter an employment relations issue. Such employers would often pay a couple of thousand dollars to settle the dispute outside of work, according to Hodge.
Employment lawyer Jennifer Mills, of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, agreed with Hodge, according to Business Day. Mills claimed that while it was important to remain informed on employment law changes, some employers would be unaware of the current changes.
Like Hodge, she suggested that while the amendments were employer-focused, the compliance costs associated with constant changes to employment law where high.