Christchurch Earthquake Legal Issues For Employees 30 Mar 2011

In this, our fourth and final blog on employment issues, we look at legal issues for employees resulting from the Christchurch earthquake.  This includes issues such as redundancy, and whether or not you are entitle to financial assistance.

Can I be made redundant as a result of the earthquake?

Yes, you can. Please see our blog on employment issues for employers which sets out the circumstances in which an employer can make an employee redundant and the process that should be followed.

If you believe that your employer has acted unjustifiably or you believe that the redundancy is not genuine you can raise a personal grievance.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you require any assistance in this regard.

Am I entitled to any financial assistance if I am made redundant?

Yes, possibly. You should first check the terms of your employment agreement to see if you are entitled to redundancy compensation from your employer. If you receive redundancy compensation, you may be eligible for a redundancy tax credit.  For information about the tax credit, visit Inland Revenue’s website.

Your annual leave entitlement should be included in your final pay.

You may also or, alternatively, be entitled to the Government’s Earthquake Job Loss Cover.  This is a weekly payment of $400 net for full-time (over 20 hours per week) and $240 net for part time employees paid over six weeks (from 22 February 2011) who have been displaced as a result of Christchurch’s earth quake.

To qualify, you need to:

(a) have been employed on 22 February 2011

(b) have worked for an employer who was based in the Christchurch City Council area; and

(c)  no longer have an employer (they have not accessed the Earthquake Support Subsidy in respect to you and have elected not to operate)

You are not able to receive Earthquake Job Loss Cover if you are receiving a benefit, ACC weekly compensation, or a Civil Defence Payment for loss of livelihood.  You also cannot get the Earthquake Job Loss Cover payment if your employer is getting the Earthquake Support Subsidy for you as they will be paying you directly.

We trust you have found these blogs on the Christchurch Earthquake employment issues of interest. Please leave a comment or ask a question.