Bramwell Bate News


General consequence when bankruptcy is declared

It is always a difficult time when you find that you are earning 99c but regularly spending $1.00. If you cannot turn the position around, personal bankruptcy being declared against you looms as a real consequence.

Filing for bankruptcy itself is the most serious alternative when you are in financial difficulties, and the whole situation is stressful, so sharing the problem with your lawyer in the first instance can help clarify the best way forward.

The general consequences are significant. In brief, any proceedings commenced against you to recover debts are halted, and some are actually cancelled. However, the personal cost is high. Certain debts will still remain payable, and any assets you had recently transferred within a two year window may be able to be clawed back from the recipient.

While you are able to retain essential personal items, the remainder is sold. Your credit rating will be affected, and you cannot buy or own significant assets for a period of three years. After this three year period you are able to be discharged from the bankruptcy.

The office of the Official Assignee can be approached directly regarding your bankruptcy, but there is no downside to asking your lawyer first to review the options with you.

Statutory entitlement for sick leave

We all get sick from time to time, and New Zealand law in the form of the Holidays Act 2003 recognises that an employee will be paid for some of those times, and rightly so.

As a general rule, the minimum sick leave available is five days per year. Employees receive another five days sick leave for each twelve month period following on from that. This entitlement should be enshrined in an employee’s agreement with their employer.

A prerequisite to using sick leave is that an employee must have been in the same job for a continuous period of six months. There are also a minimum number of hours each week that underpin the entitlement.

Sick leave is available if an employee is sick or injured, or when a spouse or partner who depends on the employee is sick or injured. The availability of ACC is relevant when injuries occur.

Longer sick leave periods can be negotiated with an employer. Any unclaimed leave can be carried over from year to year, but accumulation options are to be clarified on a case-by-case basis.

But who wants to be sick!