Appellate judgments 2017
Court of Appeal
 NZCA 169 Brill v Labour Inspector [PDF, 298 KB] Employment Law – Personal liability of employer company officers, directors or agents – s 234 of the Employment Relations Act 2000. What threshold must the Labour Inspector meet in order to obtain authorisation to proceed against an officer, director or agent under s 234(2)? Whether the Labour Inspector must prove an officer, director or agent of a company knew the company was under-paying the employee, or whether it is sufficient he or she authorised the payments in question.
Held: Appeal allowed. The Labour Inspector must satisfy the Employment Relations Authority that there is a tenable cause of action in order to proceed under s 234(2). The Labour Inspector must prove the officer, director or agent knew the payment was in default of the company’s statutory obligations to pursue him or her personally. Such knowledge may be proved by inference from conduct."
 NZCA 153 Hay v LSG Sky Chefs NZ Ltd and Anor [PDF, 119 KB]"Application for leave declined. Employment law.Application for leave. Joinder. Litigation funding. Costs. Following a successful personal grievance claim in the Employment Court, an order was made joining the litigation funder and its de facto director to the costs proceedings. The director applied for leave to appeal to this Court.
Whether leave should be granted on a question of law that, by reason of general or public importance or for any other reason, ought to be submitted to this Court for decision?
Held: the proposed question of law that the Employment Court Judge erred because this Court in Kidd v v Equity Realty (1995) Ltd imposed a requirement that actual insolvency of the principal party is prerequisite to joinder does not limit the Employment Court’s powers and the costs issue does not raise a question of sufficient importance to meet the leave threshold; the power to order joinder in the costs context is a fact-specific assessment; costs on the unsuccessful application are increased by 50 per cent to reflect the volume of material, change of position and general complexity."
 NZCA 123 AFFCO NZ Ltd v Employment Court & NZ Meat Workers and Related Trades Union Incorporated [PDF, 232 KB] "Summary: Application to strike out; review of decision of the Employment Court ;privative clause. Whether previous Court of Appeal authority on the scope of this Court’s judicial review jurisdiction under the Employment Relations Act 2000 should be revisited in light of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 to allow review for breach of natural justice. Held: application for judicial review dismissed. No inconsistency between s 27 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and previous authority from this Court on its judicial review scope. Even if it was inconsistent, the limited scope of jurisdiction to review would be a reasonable limit on the protected right. This Court therefore has no jurisdiction to review the Employment Court’s decision. Proceedings might also be struck out as an abuse of process."
 NZCA 34 Farrimond v Caffe Coffee (NZ) Ltd [PDF, 198 KB] Application for leave to appeal declined. Order as to costs. Civil practice and procedure: leave to appeal. Whether leave to appeal from costs decision of Employment Court should be granted? Held; costs awards are at discretion of the court; no errors of law established that would entitle the Court to grant leave to appeal.
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