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Backpedalling over holiday pay
ASB is the latest big corporate to be caught by breaches in the Holidays Act.
Robyn Worthington, ASB executive general manager people, confirmed that after a review of its obligations under the act it had discovered some current employees received incorrect holiday payments and entitlements dating back from March 31 this year to December 18, 2012.
"We have now completed back payments and leave entitlement adjustments for any eligible current employees." The bank didn't answer questions on how many staff had received payments or how much money it has paid out so far.
Worthington said it would extend the remediation to past employees later in the year and would be in touch with any past employees affected. In early 2018 Spark posted public advertisements calling for former staff to come forward after discovering Holidays Act discrepancies.
Holidays Act breaches have been a widespread issue in recent years.
The Labour Inspectorate which is part of MBIE has carried out 168 audits of employers between July 2012 and December 2019 and of those 149 required a compliance tool to be applied. Most - 136 employers - reached an enforceable undertaking although three have been referred to the Employment Relations Authority.
Mowbray, Williams purchase sets new record
The sale of a north-facing secluded Auckland seaside site to former All Black Ali Williams and billionaire Zuru Toys sibling Anna Mowbray has set this year's house price record of about $23 million, The Insider understands.
The pair, who recently moved into the property surrounded by pohutukawa and palms, declined to comment with Mowbray saying the purchase was bound by confidentiality.
The property was formerly owned by film director Andrew Adamson, who has been based mainly in Los Angeles lately where he directed the Academy Award-winning animated films Shrek and Shrek 2.
Asked about the sale, agent Pene Milne of Sotheby's International Realty said: "I can confirm that I have closed a large sale in the last few weeks."
She said she is also bound by confidentiality agreements and could say no more.
Auckland Council lists one of the titles as having a rateable value of $5.4m. It has a home worth nearly $1m on it; but the far more exclusive second title is valued at $14m of which $11.2m is the land and $2.7m for the home.
That second place is listed as a house, pool and boatshed.
One source who knew a little of the deal said the land alone was "about 2 acres" which converts to about 0.8 ha.
Nick Goodall of CoreLogic said the previous record price this year was well below this sale.
The next highest was a property at Oneroa on Waiheke Island, which sold on January 30 for $9m, Goodall said.
ANZ bank is believed to be planning to ditch a whole floor in its Auckland offices in Albert St with the rising number of staff working from home in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.
When questioned about the move a spokesman for the bank said like many other corporates it was reviewing the way in which its teams will work in the future.
"It's too early to speculate what that may look like as we anticipate the amount of time staff spend in the office may change. We're continually reviewing our portfolio against the requirements of the business, and prior to Covid knew we had surplus space."
The insider speculates that the floor that goes is unlikely to be that used by its top executives. ANZ faced some ribbing over its executive floor last year after its former chief executive David Hisco left amid an expenses scandal. The floor can only be reached by a separate lift and non-executive staff who work in the building don't have access to it without being let up.
That separation led to chatter that Hisco had his own personal lift but he wasn't the only one to use it.
Law firms ties the knot
Auckland lawyers Mark Lowndes, Kerri Dewe and Reuben Payne will merge their practice with commercial law firm Tompkins Wake next month.
The move follows the closure of Shortland St corporate and commercial law firm Lowndes Ltd earlier this year after 23 years in business. The Lowndes business model became unsustainable when Covid-19 hit and revenue from merger and acquisition transactions dropped.
Tompkins Wake, which has offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua, is ranked as a leading New Zealand firm in six practice areas in the Legal 500 international law firm directory.
The firm was also recognised as New Zealand Mid-Size Law Firm of the Year at the 2019 NZ Law Awards. Lowndes is ranked as a leading New Zealand law firm in seven practice areas across the principal international directories of law firms: Chambers, Legal 500, Asialaw Profiles, and IRFL1000, and includes a strong international practice.
A statement from Lowndes, Dewe and Payne said both the service culture and size of Tompkins Wake would work well for Lowndes' clients. We have found them (Tompkins Wake) to be nimble and commercially minded, and we were quickly attracted by their energy and enthusiasm, their clear business strategy, and the depth of the firm's talent across its offices."