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Do You Employ Migrants?

From 19 July, changes have been made to Essential Skills visas to streamline application processing and increase visa duration. This includes: Increasing the maximum duration of an Essential Skills visa for jobs paid below the median wage from 12 to 24 months Removing the requirement to provide medical and police certificates if these have already been provided to Immigration New Zealand, even if they were provided more than 36 months ago If the applicant is remaining in their current full time ...

July 26, 2021

2021 Law Change Round-up

The Government has introduced several new changes to the legislation for this year. Are you up to speed with these changes – check out the summary of below to see what applies to your business. Sick leave changes – 24 July 2021Minimum wage increase – 1 April 2021Tenancy law changes – 11 February 2021Healthy homes standards – 1 July 2021Vaping law changes – 11 August 2021Changes to the consumer credit laws – 1 October 2021Investment property changes – 27 March 2021 For specialist ...

July 23, 2021

Ten Steps to Happiness

Everyone deserves happiness in their lives so it should be a top priority. As Robert Louis Stevenson once quoted ‘There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.’ Those that are happy have a positive effect on others whereas when you are unhappy you can also influence - but in a negative way!  Think of it as a ripple effect, like when a rock is dropped into the water causing ripples – our words, actions and feelings will affect those around us, who in turn affect tho...

July 23, 2021

Are You Ready for Sick Leave Changes?

From 24 July 2021 employee sick leave entitlement will increase from five days to 10 days. The three questions we have been getting asked are: does this change for all my team members on 24 July? Do I need to do anything? And is the ‘cap’ of 20 days changing? Let’s tackle the first one first…the short answer is no, not all team members’ entitlements change on 24 July – this happens when they reach their next entitlement date after the 24th of July – either after reaching six m...

June 23, 2021

Four Essential Qualities of Great Teams

Given the labour market challenges we talked about in the last article, the spotlight (quite rightly!), goes onto retention.  How do we make sure we keep the teams we’ve got? And how do we make those teams great?  Now that we’re into the new season a lot of you will either have new team members to orientate on farm or even if you don’t you’ll still find it interesting to measure your current team against these essential qualities. Research about teamwork shows there are no grea...

June 23, 2021

Getting creative around employment…

With almost full employment in NZ, and the borders still effectively closed, we are talking to businesses every day that are dealing with the reality of a labour shortage.  While we’re seeing this across many industries, it’s particularly true in the primary sector.   Our GM Toni has recently been involved in an MPI ‘task force’ looking at ways to attracting more Kiwis into the primary industries.  The reality is, even with very bright minds from around the country wo...

June 23, 2021

Who Are the Most Employable?

Around the team table this week we’ve been mulling on a range of ‘employable skills’ conversations that we’ve had over recent months, including… One job seeker who has decided to make a significant career shift, chase her ‘dream job’ if you like – she wanted to know the key skills she should work on in order to best position herself to chase the dreamConversations over the past year with candidates who have been displaced due to Covid-19; and Even more conversations wit...

May 1, 2021

Are You Ready for 1 June?

Start your new team members well from the start, and reap the rewards!  There are so many reasons to have a clear, structured orientation programme in place before anyone new joins your team.At a ‘compliance’ level, it’s critical that you get your orientation right when a new team members start; your business is at risk if you don’t have accurate and up to date employment documentation in place for all team members.  But a successful orientation with new team members ...

April 30, 2021

In the Media for the Wrong Reasons

The Cost of Poor Consultation When making changes to a team member’s terms and conditions of employment you need to have a substantive (good and legal) reason and you must follow a fair process.  This article from Stuff demonstrates the cost of getting it wrong. The former cafe worker says she was told to “take it or leave it” when her hours were almost halved. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/124945069/cafe-owner-ordered-to-pay-former-employee-33k-after-slashing-work-hours?cid=app-iP...

April 30, 2021

Too Many Needles

Last week was one where ‘overwhelmedness’ was a bit of a theme.  The first couple of days of the week were spent with a bunch of smart business leaders from the agri-sector, all taking the time to step outside of their respective businesses to look collectively at how we could solve some ‘in business’ challenges.  A number of challenges were raised, and the group think around solving some of these issues was fantastic, but on reflection, it occurs to me that most-if-n...

March 25, 2021

Privacy Act 2020

Privacy means different things to different people. A right to privacy can mean a right to be left alone, a right to control who sees information about you, or a right to make decisions about your personal life without government intervention. The most recent Privacy Act has brought change that affect businesses, and this mean that as an employer you must:  Not destroy personal information if someone asks for information held about themReport serious privacy breachesCheck personal informati...

March 10, 2021

Employment Law Breaches Cost Canterbury Employer an Additional $26k

Canterbury employer Christopher Gray, has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to pay $26,000 in penalties for employment law breaches. This is in addition to $54,000 he was ordered to repay to 13 former employees last year. Having a business is hard, even harder to make it work. It is not uncommon to see an employer making poor decisions out of ignorance, gut feeling or based on past experience.  Check out the full article here, but if you’re in doubt about your legal...

March 10, 2021

Are your staff truly casual employees?

Our recent work alongside a client from the dairy industry reminded us that it is very important to employ workers on the correct contract. They had employed a wife of a Farm Manager on a casual contract as a calf rearer. She stayed on that casual contract for over 18 months and carried out a wide range of farm duties in addition to calf rearing, including milkings, farm maintenance and moving stock.  During that time she worked nearly every week, and normally work 4-5 days of a week. Her h...

March 10, 2021

Covid- 19 Vaccine in the Workplace

With the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations well underway in NZ, employers need to be aware of the implications for their workforce. The vaccination programme offers light at the end of the tunnel, and business leaders have a critical role to play in encouraging uptake within their organisations. Current indications are that 70 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. This article provides an overview of the recommendations on how to approach Co...

February 24, 2021

Minimum Wage Increases Alert!!!

The minimum wage is increasing form $18.90 pr hour to $20.00 per hour from 1 April this year So before that date please make sure you have; Checked whether you have any worked that are affected by thisMade the appropriate changes in your payroll system so that this is actioned on 1 April 2021Informed all your workers who are affected that they will be receiving an increase For more information check out this link from Employment NZ , and if you need to check out if you’re meeting your obl...

February 24, 2021

Possible Changes to Sick Leave and Holiday Act

The government is currently considering a number of changes to the holidays act. These include:Increasing sick leave from 5 days to 10 daysAllowing employees to take bereavement leave and domestic violence leave form their first day of employmentExtending bereavement leave to include more family membersRequiring all employees to receive payslips that included information on their leave entitlementsGiving new employees 1 days sick leave from their first day of employment and then accruing their s...

February 24, 2021

Life in Our Zero Carbon Future

Wherever you live and work, your life will be impacted by the Climate Change Commission's low-carbon blueprint.  You need to read this article if you’re a: TeenagerCar driverBlue-collar workerOffice workerFarmerFirst Home Buyer https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/124161285/compact-cities-lowmethane-sheep-and-evs-life-in-our-zerocarbon-future?cid=app-iPhone...

February 24, 2021

Keeping Your Business Safe

The Employment Relations Authority has ordered a small Snell’s Beach Cafe business to pay its workers $136,800 for incorrectly dismissing their staff due to the Covid-19 lockdown, even though they had a clause in their employment contracts that said they could dismiss their staff if the business was “interrupted by unforeseen events beyond its control” including a heath pandemic! That’s a big payout for a small business, so it’s important to understand where they went wrong! ...

February 10, 2021

New Covid-19 Short Term Absence Payment

The government has just announced a one-off payment for businesses to pay their employees when that have to stay home while they wait for Covid-19 test results. The payment of $350.00 can be claimed when an employee: Needs to miss work to stay home while waiting for Covid-19 test results (in line with public health guidance)     AndCannot work from home The payment can be claimed once in any 30-day period, unless a health practitioner instructs an employee to get another test. It ...

February 10, 2021

Boost Your Productivity & Happiness

Have you noticed that the standard answer to the questions ‘how was your day?’ or ‘how are you?’ is no longer ‘fine/good’, rather, it’s invariably ‘busy’.  Some wear their busy-ness like a badge of honour, some thrive on being busy, many are constantly chasing their tales. Regardless, the simple truth is Life. Is. Busy. In our household we have two adults who work full time and two teenagers at school.  We’re all busy.  We never get it all d...

January 29, 2021

Management & Leadership – let’s keep talking about this…

In our first newsletter of the year we challenged you to think about whether 2021 would be the year when you decided whether you would be a manager or a leader – which really was an unfair question because we then went on to say that to be successful you actually need to be both. This is a theme we want to hold on to in 2021 because for many of our clients we see a lot of investment and effort put in to the development of leadership competencies, and we see business not paying enough attention...

January 21, 2021

Bring on 2021!

With reminders every day of how lucky we are to be living in NZ - some say Godzone and who are we to argue with New Year’s celebrations just like they were last year, music festivals going ahead and of course all those gatherings where we didn’t have to worry about headcounts! But for many, including most of the rest of the world, 2021 hasn’t started with the burst of optimism most had hoped.  Close to home there has been tragedy with a road toll in double digits and water fatali...

January 14, 2021

Changes to Temporary Work Visas

From mid-2021 Immigration New Zealand is introducing a new 3-check visa application system and replacing six temporary work visas with one.  Under the new system an employer will have to be accredited to hire any migrant worker.   The changes are intended to improve the temporary work visa system, put emphasis on employing and training more New Zealanders and ensure foreign workers are only recruited for genuine shortages. With the disruptions in 2020 to immigration, we urge ...

January 14, 2021

Is 2021 the Year to Decide Whether You’re a Manager or a Leader?

Actually, we’re being a bit misleading with that question – the truth is, those who are truly successful don’t choose – they are both.  Yes, there is a time and place for each, the trick is in knowing when to step out of the management role and into the leadership one.   Of course there’s no single ‘right answer’ to when management stops and leadership starts, but we thought this article was a great summary on the differences between the two, and when each is im...

January 14, 2021

Getting Your Life Back On Course

For many of us, once the madness of Christmas is over, the ‘summer holiday’ period is a time to catch a breath, catch up with friends and family, and reflect on the year that’s been and the year ahead.  And some of us even go so for as to set some goals for the coming year– call them new year’s resolutions if you like.  I don’t know about you, but my resolutions are almost always the same, and are almost always out the door by about 15 January.  I came a...

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