Smoking in motor vehicles with children now banned

Smoking in motor vehicles when children under the age of 18 years old are present is now prohibited. The passing of the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Act 2020 has made this an offence. 

Police will now have the discretion to issue on-the-spot fines of $50 for those who are caught smoking in cars with children, or they may issue warnings or refer people to stop-smoking agencies.

The Associate Minister of Health, the Hon Jenny Salesa, says that children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke due to their smaller lungs, higher respiratory rate and more immature immune systems.


'Triangular' employment legislation in force

On 27 June 2020, the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2020 came into force. This legislation addresses the situation where a person is employed by one organisation but actually works for a third party business or organisation. Examples of this 'triangle' situation are where a person is seconded to another organisation to work for a period, or a recruitment company pays a person's wages but they are working in another business or in a temporary 'cover' position.

Until now, employees have only been able to bring a personal grievance against their employer, not the third party for whom they are doing their day-to-day work. Now, both the employer and third party could be added to the claim (in cases where the behaviour or actions of the third party contributed to the issue), and both could be potentially responsible for providing remedies to the employee.


Looking after your mental health during COVID

The last few months of the COVID pandemic have affected every New Zealander in some way. 

As we moved down through Levels 4, 3, 2 and 1 many people found that their mental health deteriorated – to a greater or lesser degree. Whether you're feeling a bit blue or are experiencing depressive episodes, there are some useful tips on the COVID website www.covid19.govt.nz

  • Stay connected
  • Stick to routines where possible
  • Check in with other people who might need help
  • Seek accurate information from legitimate sources
  • Don't be afraid to seek further professional support, and
  • Continue existing mental health treatment if possible.

Take care and look after yourselves.