The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and E tū are delighted with today’s Employment Court win.
Manufacturing company Carter Holt Harvey was taken to court after forcing their workers to use annual leave during the April 2020 lockdown.
In a ruling released today, the Employment Court found CHH was not entitled to require employees to take ten days of annual leave.
The case, which involved E tū union members, also had NZCTU as an intervener.
NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff said the result was a win for all working people.
“This has been an important case for defining entitlement to annual holidays. Businesses can’t force their employees to take holidays without talking to them first -especially during a nationwide lockdown.”
Wagstaff said this outcome could have widespread implications for leave-harvesting as an issue in workplaces.
In the findings, the Employment Court said employers and unions needed to be ‘active and constructive.’ It also noted that E tū attempts to engage with the employer over how workers would be paid were ‘not reciprocated’.
E tū Assistant National Secretary Rachel Mackintosh was pleased with the outcome of the case.
“It shows clearly that employment law can’t just be ignored because of a public health emergency.
“Decent work and dignity remain vital, and we’re delighted to see workers’ entitlements are upheld by this decision.”