Unsafe Businesses’ Practices Are Destroying Staff

April 28th, 2021 - Barbara Buckett

Trigger warning: mention of sexual harassment and suicide


Burnout is common in professional life. Depression is common. Suicides are not uncommon. Low morale, bullying, and sexual predation are commonplace.

There is no work life balance/flexibility despite that being the new war cry.

With digital disruption many work hours have increased not decreased. The digital leash and globalisation means greater murking of work life personal boundaries.

Families and personal social relationships are suffering. Young professional employees are being exploited.

Surely there is a legal and ethical obligation on these workplaces, the regulatory bodies (WorkSafe) and professional organisations to intervene and stop this carnage.

The law requires all employers to provide a safe workplace. These workplaces are not safe. They are causing mental, physiological, and social harm. It is a positive duty of care to protect from harm and damage.

So why is a business model that makes profit rather than health pre-eminent not outlawed and its subscribers called to account?

Until there is accountability nothing will change.

Unsafe workplaces are breeding grounds for unsafe work practices.

Doing nothing is destructive. The law requires the building of productive employment relationships.

There is plenty of scope within the current legal framework to bring workplaces and employers of these workplaces to account.

The question is why a reluctance to do so. Why the complacency for the regulatory bodies to act?  We all know it is happening.  There is plenty of statistics and commentaries around to tell us it is.

Do we like the pike river smell the gas but just wait for the next casualty or death? And observe. Is the last suicide not the one too many?

The Australians prosecute employers who cause harm to their employees. Bullying behaviour causing serious harm is a crime in the state of Victoria.  So why not here? Why is nothing being done to demonstrate that enough is enough and change cannot be left in the influence of the benefactors of the current system? Urgent legal intervention is required.

BuckettLaw is an advocate for change.

Helpline services are available right now in New Zealand that offer support, information and help for you and your parents, family, whānau and friends.

National helplines

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666


New Zealand agencies that can help:




There has been research done on burnout: https://www.renews.co.nz/young-workers-in-nz-are-three-times-more-burnt-out-than-others/?fbclid=IwAR1QWpPlHozIajQHtaWRLAy3S8rpUQckl8DmTwiUESqIKZ1Pry8wm4m6QJE

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

Get new posts delivered to your inbox

Never miss anything!The BuckettLaw team will keep you up to date with employment law news & legal updates.

More Reading...

Free Phone Call With Our Expert Employment Lawyers

Consult our experts about your employment questions. Get a free 15 minute phone discussion.