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Keeping Within The Law - 90 day trial periods
There have now been a number of cases heard by the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court in relation to 90 day trials and these emphasize the Courts strict interpretation of the law. It is the Courts view that the trade-off for employers, who gain significant advantage through the removal of the employees right to challenge justification of the dismissal, is that the law will be interpreted strictly by them.
Start As You Mean To Go On
We all know that when hiring employees it is vital that a comprehensive recruitment process is properly managed. But when we go through the recruitment steps how often do we skimp on the interview phase for one reason or another?
"We'll Get You In For A Trial"
When recruiting new staff, it fairly typical in the hospitality industry for employers to ask potential employees to attend the prospective place of work for a short practical interview/ evaluation period of usually one shift.
Introduce A Performance Plan To Improve
When you have an employee with work performance issues it is important that these issues are addressed and carefully managed. A useful tool to use is the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), which can be used when you have identified a performance problem and are looking for ways to improve the performance of an employee.
Getting The Process Right...
In order to dismiss an employee, an employer must have a good cause and act in a fair and reasonable manner.
When You've Done Your Best To Retain Staff... and they still leave
Perhaps it is the lure of higher wages or a new scene at the new establishment that has just opened down the road, or there might be a bad apple happy to leave you in the lurch, but it does seem to be the time of year when the Restaurant Association receives a number of calls regarding employees who have 'abandoned' their employment.
Employers Requirement To Disclose "Everything" In Redundancy Situations
A recent decision of the Employment Court may raise concern for employers who are considering restructuring (redundancy) in their business. This Employment Court decision applies an extremely wide view of the obligation to provide relevant information under the good faith provisions of the Employment Relations Act (to give employees access to certain information during a restructuring).
How To Deal With The Sensitive Situation Of Sick Leave
Dealing with sick leave can be difficult. Two particularly tricky areas of sick leave are medical incapacity, where a staff member suffers from long term illness or injury and is unable to work, and intermittent sick leave, where a staff member is frequently but not continuously absent. This article reviews those situations and what an employer can and should do. It will also look at the changes to the requirements around proof of sickness that come into effect on 1 April.
Surcharges on public hoidays... watch your words
The Commerce Commission recently formally warned Spotless Services (NZ) Limited that it was at risk of breaching the Fair Trading Act. On Waitangi Day 2009 and 2010 at the New Zealand International Sevens tournament, Spotless Services had signage stating "Please Note 15% Surcharge (Due to Holidays Act)".
Getting Your Sexual Harassment Policy In Place Will Protect Your Business (26/04/10)
Both the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 make sexual harassment a form of unlawful discrimination. Anyone alleging sexual harassment may choose to complain to the Human Rights Commissions or to lodge a personal grievance claim. So it is important that employers know and understand their statutory obligations.
Are You Up To Speed With The Swift Kiwisaver Changes?
As at 31 December 2008 over 900,000 New Zealands were members of KiwiSaver. It is therefore vitally important that employers and employees alike, keep on top of KiwiSaver. We wish you luck.
Make Sure You Are Up To Speed With New Employment Rules
Recent changes to employment law should have all employers taking stock and considering any changes that may need to be made to the terms and conditions of employment. This not only includes your employment agreements but also your workplace policies.
We Really Don't Know How Lucky We Are!
Auckland member, Wayne Mildon, who has recently returned from a holiday in Oz, passed us a clipping from an Australian newspaper headed Wages Hike in IR reforms hard to swallow.
The Australian (Labour) Government is hoping to modernise and simplify the award system for employment conditions. They also hope to introduce uniformity in employment conditions across the nation without disadvantaging employees or increasing employer costs.
Changes To Kiwisaver Coming on 1st April
From 1 April 2009 some changes are being made to KiwiSaver...
90 day trial period encouraging news for employers
In new legislation passed at the end of 2008 employers who employ less than 20 employees will be able to (from 1 March 2009) employ new employees on a trial period of up to 90 calendar days and if dismissed the employee will not be able to take a personal grievance. The trial period can apply to full time or part time staff and casuals.
Don't Get Caught Out Without An Employment Agreement
We find it necessary to remind members of their obligations around providing your employees with a written employment agreement. Through the queries that we receive via our HELP DESK we are constantly surprised at the amount of callers who have no employment agreements in place.
Incapacity - it's enough to make you sick!
Dealing with an employees long-term illness is never easy. On the one hand, the employer understandably feels sympathy for an employee who is sick or injured. On the other hand, there is the need to get on with the business, by either getting the employee back to work, or hiring a replacement. So how long must an employer hold the job open for someone who is sick?
Casual & Temporary Employees due to get better protection
The Department of Labour is to develop a Code of Employment Practice for Casual and Non-Standard Employment making it easier for employers to understand and comply with employer's obligations when employing casual and temporary workers. Temporary and casual workers employment protections are to be better according to proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000
How Can you Discipline If Your Staff Dont Know And Understand Your Staff Policies?
Weve had several HELP DESK calls from members recently requiring assistance in disciplining staff who have breached staff rules.
Ideology Vs Common Sense
We recently made a written submission to the Select Committee considering a Bill to amend the Employment Relations Act that will provide a statutory obligation for employers to allow rest and meal breaks for employees and to provide facilities for breast-feeding mothers in employment.
Generation Me ME!
I am constantly surprised at the difference in attitudes from previous generations as with the ones held by the new crop of young people employed in this industry for the first time.
Frustrating the Employment Relationship
Following a fair process is an essential part of any disciplinary procedure, but what happens when an employee appears to be avoiding following a fair process by non attendance at prearranged disciplinary meetings?
Employment Relations - Breaks and Infant Feeding
The Restaurant Association of New Zealands Submission on the Employment Relations (Breaks and Infant Feeding) Amendment Bill.
Employment Relations 101
Ive been handling some of the employment relations queries on the HELP DESK and Im surprised at the amount of callers who have no employment agreements in place with their employees. Im also surprised at the amount of callers who have employee agreements in place but the agreements are not signed by their employees.
Public Holidays & Restaurants - Press Release
The Restaurant Association is calling for understanding from restaurant and caf patrons this Easter, when dining out. Dont begrudge your host for recovering some of their extra costs via a surcharge, says Alistair Rowe, CEO of the Restaurant Association. For those who do open, most find that the surcharge does not completely cover the added costs and later inconvenience of operating on a public holiday, and do so mainly as a goodwill gesture toward their loyal customers.