Restaurant Association of New Zealand

Employment Relations

Still looking for staff? Use technology in your recruiting...

1 November, 2014

With skill shortages continuing to wreak havoc in most regions it is worth considering how you can use simple, free, tools like Skype to interview, and even trial, out of town candidates.

Sun, Sand & Annual Leave

1 November, 2014

The warmer weather is here, bringing with it the desire to take time away from work to enjoy the sunshine. But what are employees entitled to? How much annual leave does an employee have and when is an employee entitled to take time off?

Managing Your Rules of the House

17th Septmber, 2014

Hospitality workplaces can be complex! Think of the key ingredients that go into today’s typical business. Start with a number of people who possess a wide range of skills, education and experience.

Spotlight on Employee Performance

17th September, 2014

Most employers will encounter employee performance issues and concerns in their business. The key is to commence a process, whether that is an informal or formal process, without delay. Do not let performance concerns fester until you are at breaking point.

Successful Recruitment Means You Have To Think Big

17th September, 2014

One of my tips to successfully recruit, train and retain employees is to act like a big company behind the scenes. What do I mean by this? Have all the correct systems in place and the ability to consistently use them, just like a big company would do.

Are your job ads attracting the right people?

1 February, 2014

Writing an ad to attract the right people is much harder than it sounds and when you are spending hundreds of dollars advertising for the right candidate, you need to make sure you know how to best capture their attention and get the best value for money for your advertising.

I'm Leaving. But Not Quite Yet...

November 2013

What can you do when an employee resigns but provides you with an extended notice period – far longer than they are required to provide in their employment agreement? A recent employment relations authority judgement addresses this issue…

Can You Deduct From An Employee's Wage?

November 2013

It is a fundamental rule that employers must pay the entire amount of an employee’s wage without any deduction. But what about PAYE, an overpayment made to the employee or if the employee owes you money? There are some exceptions to the rule and this article will help you navigate them and the Wages Protection Act 1983.

Facing Up To Sick Leave Abuse

September 2013

Where do you stand when you have an employee who has called in sick but then appears on Facebook apparently healthy and happy and having a good time?

Employer Responsibility In The Investigation Process

August 2013

I recently attended a conference about workplace investigations and one of the most interesting points that was covered was employer responsibility during a formal process in the workplace.

Employee Complaints. Get It In Wiriting

August 2013

Have you ever received a verbal complaint from a staff member about another staff member? The complainant will go into gritty details about how their colleague swore at them, they feel threatened and now they just can’t take it anymore.

Informal vs Formal - when to elevate the disciplinary process

April 2013

When an employer is presented with an incident (or incidences) of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, oftentimes the most appropriate course of action initially is an informal discussion with the employee. In practice you are not going to initiate a formal disciplinary process for every minor episode of misconduct.

Don't Avoid Performance Management

March 2013

A lack of skilled employees is one of the big challenges for hospitality. As a consequence we’re sometimes finding less experienced staff are being moved into more senior roles to fill the void and without the additional support and training they’ll require this may result in some not reaching a satisfactory level of performance.

Are Your Employee's Entitled To Work Here?

February 2013

The hospitality industry is a hotpot of different workers from different countries and nationalities. However, ensuring compliance with the Immigration Act 2009 can be a minefield for employers looking to hire a new employee. When recruiting or hiring a new employee, employers must take active steps to ensure that the person is entitled to work in New Zealand, before they are employed. It is an offence to allow or to continue to allow someone to work for you who is not entitled to do so. BY ASHLEY AYTON, Solicitor, Hesketh Henry

Have We Got An Offer For You

February 2013

Let’s talk about offer and acceptance etiquette. If you’ve offered a potential candidate a position with your team, what timeframe do you need to allow for them to accept your offer of employment?

Keeping Within The Law - 90 day trial periods

June 2012

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

April 2012

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"

April 2012

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

Febraury 2012

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...

November 2011

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

September 2011

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

August 2011

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

March 2011

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.

Getting Your Sexual Harassment Policy In Place Will Protect Your Business (26/04/10)

April 2010

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?

March 2009

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

March 2009

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!

January 2009

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

January 2009

From 1 April 2009 some changes are being made to KiwiSaver...

90 day trial period encouraging news for employers

January 2009

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

January 2009

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!

November 2008

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

July 2008

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?

June 2008

Weve had several HELP DESK calls from members recently requiring assistance in disciplining staff who have breached staff rules.

Ideology Vs Common Sense

June 2008

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!

May 2008

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

July 2008

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

May 2008

The Restaurant Association of New Zealands Submission on the Employment Relations (Breaks and Infant Feeding) Amendment Bill.

Employment Relations 101

May 2008

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

March 2008

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.

The Tricky Task Of Correct Procedure

March 2008

Be very, very careful. On our Help Desk these days we are busy with calls for help and advice from folk who have staff doing things they hoped they wouldnt, and not doing things they hoped they would and everything in between, but a couple of trends are emerging.

OPINION - Stand By For More Aggressive Union Activity

February 2008

Three of New Zealands more active and aggressive unions (The Service and Food Workers Union, The Unite Union and the National Distribution Union) have agreed to merge, making the yet to be named Union, the countrys biggest private sector Union.

Failure To Have Sexual Harassment Policy Can Result In A Significant Financial Claim

February 2008

In our role as an industry advocate representing the interests of our members we have acted for three members in recent times who have been faced with allegations of sexual harassment in their operations. The concerning thing is that, as an employer, you must not only be concerned about your behaviour, but you are also responsible for the behaviour of all your employees, customers and clients.

SUBMISSION - Easter Trading & Holidays Legislation

January 2008

The Restaurant Association recently made a submission regarding the proposed Easter Trading and Holidays Legislation and for you information we have enclosed the submission here.

Religion Complicates Matters For Restaurants

November 2007

Visit the USA and you will notice a church on just about every corner in residential suburbs; surveys suggest that 90 per cent of Americans believe in god or a higher spiritual being. This sometimes complicates the operation of a foodservice business.

Law Changes Give Teen Workers The Right To Adult Wage

October 2007

Under a new law change workers aged 16-17 will earn the adult minimum wage once they have been in the job 3 months or worked 200 hours. Currently those under 18 must be paid 80 per cent of the minimum adult wage ($9.00/hour).

Returning From Parental Leave On a Part-time Basis

May 2007

Our HELP DESK had another call re parental leave which in summary involved a request from an employee on parental leave requesting to come back from their leave on a part-time basis for 6 months before reverting to full-time duties.