A health and safety guideline for directors titled ‘Good Governance Practices Guideline for Managing Health and Safety Risks’ has been launched (20 May)
Produced by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the guideline is a response to the key findings and recommendations in the final report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.
Payroll is the single largest overhead for most businesses. Using gut feeling to determine remunerations levels is one thing, but you need market data to make an informed decision.Read more
An employee filed a Personal Grievance (for unjustified constructive dismissal) alleging that her employer failed to deal properly with a complaint about her being bullied at work.Read more
From 1 May 2013 the starting-out wage will replace the new entrants wage and training wage for under-20sRead more
Effective from April 2015, New Zealand workers will no longer miss out on a paid public holiday for ANZAC Day when the holiday falls on a weekend.
Although NZ allows for 11 paid public holidays, Waitangi & ANZAC Days have always been observed on the date they fall, meaning that if they are on weekends, most workers don't get a Monday off.Read more
It appears there could be some misunderstanding about Drug testing in the workplace and when random testing can be undertaken.
Even whether to introduce drug testing in the first place is a complex issue. It should be considered if employers believe there is a significant problem of drug use and/or abuse or they consider that employees working under the influence of drugs could cause them to become a hazard to themselves or others.Read more
Restraints of trade clauses for employees are often thought as being "not worth the paper they are written on". However, this belief is often completely wrong.
The Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court have recently upheld restraint of trade clauses in a number of cases, where employers have applied restrictions that are reasonable. The most common mistake is when employers make the restrictions too harsh.Read more
How safe are our workplaces?
The latest ACC claim figures are out and show that too many employees are being hurt at work.
One in ten New Zealand workers made a claim to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for work-related injuries last year, according to Statistics New Zealand. The latest figures show:
Mr D took a personal grievance after he was dismissed by his employer (P), while he was being performance managed. The performance management plan started on 9 February and he was dismissed 14 days later.Read more
It's not often we hear that ex-employees have to pay employers but a recent Employment Authority case gives an example of just that.
An employer (A) and an employee (Miss P) agreed to an ending of their employment arrangement (the details of that are not relevant) by way of a settlement agreement reached via Mediation. The settlement contained a standard confidentiality provision. As is common in these cases, all the terms of the settlement, as well as the background circumstances which led to the parties entering the agreement, were to be kept confidential.
KiwiSaver has recently turned five years old.
So, employees who are 65 and have been a member of KiwiSaver for 5 years can now withdraw their money. It also means that employer contributions for those employees are no longer compulsory.
But how will employers know when their employees meet the criteria....?
With the phenomenal increase of social media usage, employers are not only having to come to grips with the use of social media as a marketing, sales or promotional tool, but with also minimizing the potential misuse by employees - both inside and outside of the workplace.Read more
Companies today are being exposed to major challenges when they consider the increasing difficulty of finding skilled employees, a younger workforce (Gen Y) with different attitudes about work and a growing group of older employees (baby boomers) heading towards retirement, and above all, retaining their best people.
Do employers need to introduce bonuses?
There are significant changes you need to know of .....Read more
It is over 10 years since the Employment Relations Act (ERA) became legislation and in so doing set out a requirement to have a written employment agreement in place for every person you employ. Surprisingly, after all this time there are still employers that don't have employment agreements in place, risking hefty fine of up to $10,000.Read more
1. Think of the gain when planning your time. High gain activities are those that provide the best .....Read more
It is all too easy to employ people on the wrong sorts of employment agreements. These are the recognised definitions -Read more
One of the best customer satisfaction practices for your business is to give your customer service (CS) staff the ability and authority to handle customer complaints promptly and effectively, without having to ask anyone for permission to make decisions.
Empowering CS staff is important because:Read more
1. Looking for an exact replica.
You don't have to have a person who has done the exact job in the exact industry at a similar company. Indentifying best fit doesn't always mean industry experience. Skilled candidates from different industries may have something new to offer - transferable skills.
2. The short term fix.Read more
Should employers be friends with their employees? Should you cross the line?Read more
Employee? Contractor. Employee. Contractor. Employee!
Even the Courts were confused.
When is a contractor an employee? Or an employee a contractor?
When employment disputes go to Court (or the ERA), employers usually get - well - caught.... Here are some recent cases that should remind employers of their obligations.Read more
At the time of planning for a new financial year part of this process is wanting to improve performance of the three P's (profit, productivity and performance). This leads to setting budgets and production targets and reviewing staff performance.
Yes, the dreaded performance appraisal.
Both fired employees who took Personal Grievances against them
One employer won his case and got $8,900 from his employee.
The other employer lost and he had to pay $8,500 to his employee.
The difference? Process.....
The new Immigration Act 2009 takes effect on 29 November.
Changes to the Employment Relations Act & Holidays Act take effect 1 April
Employers will need to have their wits about them when dealing with their staff - existing and new - from 1 April. There are significant changes you need to know of .....Read more
Tread carefully is the word. Two words actually. The option to use a 90 trial is available to all employers from1 April 2011 when they take on new employees. But "employers should exercise caution". There are still procedures to follow before you dismiss anyone.Read more
When employees have done something wrong at work, it's natural for an employer to want them off the premises, by suspending them and sending them home until an investigation can be completed, and the employee has had an opportunity to explain their alleged behaviour. While this seems like common sense, caution should be exercised. Just as there must be good grounds for dismissal, there must also be good grounds for suspension.Read more