We are extremely pleased to have been accepted as a Regional Business Partner by ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) for Business Restructuring Assistance.
Connecting you with the right people and information, at the right time, to help your business grow successfully
What does this mean for you?
If you are working with us, or would like to work with us, because you are having to restructure your business due to the impact of Covid-19, then you can apply for funding to help pay for our services. Funding available covers 100% of the cost of the program up to $2000 +gst.
Services covered include:
This help means that you are able to move your business forward while ensuring that you are meeting the legal requirements for change and reducing their risk of personal grievances.
If you are interested, you can apply to the Regional Business Partner Network here
We’d love to help you, please get in touch by email or give me a call on 027 530 1255.
Additional Information: Business Eligibility
Businesses will need to have met with an RBP Growth Advisor and registered on the RBP Platform to access this support.
Businesses will need to meet existing eligibility criteria:
There are a lot of communications going around at the moment with advice about how to handle the COVID19 Coronavirus. We don’t want in overload you with yet more information but if you want to know what the latest situation is - from the horse’s mouth – then check out the Ministry of Health website here - here, you will find all the information you need to know to keep yourself and your staff safe and at minimal risk.
The Government has announced that it will support New Zealanders and their jobs from the impact of COVID-19, we have created a document/blog which outlines essential information surrounding the two payments available to support employers affected by COVID-19.
You can find it HERE on our website or we can email it to you – email Tarryn.
If you need any help or advice around this issue, please call Tarryn on 027 530 1255
If you have decided that your staff should work from home, here’s a quick checklist of what they and you might need to make the process smooth and easy.
Communicate to staff about working from home and what your expectations are, that way there are no misunderstandings.
Ensure that your staff:
Following the Government’s announcement to support New Zealanders and their jobs from the impact of COVID-19, we have outlined essential information below surrounding the two payments available to support employers affected by COVID-19.
It is to help you keep your staff employed while you consider changes that may be needed while the disruption continues, and to ensure the future viability of your business.
To qualify for the COVID-19 wage subsidy:
The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee. It will be paid at a flat rate of:
The maximum subsidy that can be paid to a business is $150,000.
Businesses can only get this subsidy once.
Employers can apply for this more than once.
It will be paid to employers who have eligible employees and they must pass the payment onto their employees in full.
COVID-19 Leave Payment covers full-time, part-time and casual employees, and contractors who are legally working in New Zealand and who:
The COVID-19 leave payment will be paid at a flat rate of:
As people may be required to self-isolate more than once, employers will be able to apply for this on an ‘as needed’ basis.
It can be paid for the entire period an employee is sick (or looking after a dependent person who is sick) with COVID-19 but the employer must apply every 14 days.
Using paid leave entitlements or COVID-19 Leave Payment when self-isolating?
You and your employee can agree to use any form of paid leave (e.g. annual leave) to cover their period of self-isolation. However, employees aren’t required to have used any or all their paid leave entitlements before they can receive this payment.
You will need the following on hand:
Work and Income are aiming to make payments five working days after they have all the information needed from employers, but this will depend on the volume of applications received. All payments will be subject to audits and reviews.
For latest details of the full range of support for businesses please visit:
A reminder that if you are changing an employees working hours even in response to the COVID-19 pandemic you are still required to consult with them.
If you have any questions, please contact EasyHR (027 530 1255 or firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will endeavour to point you in the right direction for assistance.
he Triangular Employment Bill will come into effect in June this year. The bill applies specifically to employment relationships where employees are employed by an employer, but also work under a ‘controlling third party’ who exercises or is entitled to exercise, control or direction over the employee which is similar to that of an employer. An example of this type of relationship would be between a labour hire company, the temp labourer and the company that engages the labour hire company to provide a temp.
Under section 103B of the ERA, employees in the relevant working arrangement will have the ability to apply to join a controlling third party to an existing personal grievance claim against their employer. This is subject to the same 90-day notification period within which the employee can raise a personal grievance against their employer. An employer can also apply to join a controlling third party to a personal grievance proceeding they are facing, provided they notify the controlling third party within 90 days of the personal grievance being raised.
Both an employee and employer may now apply to the Employment Relations Authority or the Employment Court to join a controlling third party to a personal grievance proceeding. An application must be granted by the Authority or Court where it is satisfied that:
If you need any help with this regulation, please contact Tarryn on 027 530 1255
Whilst we are fairly confident that not many people would give the name of a referee from a company that they didn’t do well at – it has happened. So, what do you do when the phone rings (the preferred way to do references in NZ) and you are asked to give a reference for an employee that didn’t perform well at your company (although they obviously thought they did!) and perhaps one that you had to ask to leave…
There is no legal obligation to give an employee a reference, unless it is specifically covered in your employment agreement with that employee.
It's important to note and understand that an employer can only release personal information about an employee to a third party if authorised by the employee to do so.
If a former employee is seeking a new job, they will probably give your name and telephone number to any prospective employer. If they have told you that they have given your details to a prospective employer, for the purpose of you providing a reference, then you are required to advise the following:
• that you employed that person
• the position the employee held
• how long they worked for you
You do not need to make any other comment. However if you do wish to comment you should:
If you have been unhappy with the employee’s work and do not want to provide a reference, it may be helpful for you to tell the employee why, so that they are saved any potential embarrassment. This should also avoid any difficult conversations that you have to have with potential employers.
If you need advice or help regarding references, please call Tarryn on 027 530 1255.
The first day (and week) in a new job can make or break a new employee's overall impression of your company. By creating an engaging employee experience right from the beginning and ensuring employees don't run into any easily avoidable roadblocks you can keep new hires excited about joining your company and contributing to your team.
Here are three easy tips to help you:
If you are hiring, especially for a position where the employee is going to have access to your accounts, you need to follow good pre-employment guidelines to avoid the risk of being open to fraud.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself…
Does your organisation:
• hold face to face interviews with all shortlisted potential employees?
• do reference checks by phone to referees?
• carry out police checks on potential employees before you make an offer?
• have a policy/procedure manual for all staff?
• require two or more signatories for all payments?
• have policies for checking accounts receivable and payable?
• have cash-handling policies in place?
• have a policy on reporting fraud to the police?
Here are some good pre-employment checks that will help you:
• get a written CV and check it for gaps and inconsistencies
• get an application form completed in advance of the interview and do background checks on the information provided
• interview in person and use at least two people, one to make good notes and the other to watch for body language and reactions
• have a list of questions, so you cover all points and ask consistent questions of the applicants
• drill down on answers to see if the applicant really is telling the truth e.g. ask how they would handle a certain situation - then ask for more detail
• talk to all referees and don’t call mobile phones, find the company landline, call and ask for the referee. It’s too easy to have anyone answer a mobile phone. Have a list of questions. Ask if they would re-employ the applicant and be wary of even the slightest hesitation. Be suspicious of applicants who do not want you to talk to their last employer. Have they been pushed out?
• consider getting a police vet done - you will need to get written permission, so you might want to include that on your job advert
• have written employment contracts… and you must keep a signed copy, plus a copy of any draft given to the employee to consider
Ensure you have policies in place to deter fraud – take away the opportunities to deter anyone that has the inclination to commit fraud.
Be aware that, in some cases, fraudsters could be highly trusted, long-term employees, who no-one would suspect, so make sure policies are followed by everyone, all the time. The policies are there for a reason, so make sure that they are adhered to.
Cash handling, creditor payments etc. should be prepared and approved by at least two people and both people should see the original material. Check bank account numbers as invoices can be doctored to insert a different bank number. Extra invoices can be created so the creditor gets paid, but so does the fraudster.
Carry out random checks - you could call the creditor to check on the invoice to ensure it's genuine.
If you suspect Fraud…
If you are suspicious, then do background checks to see what you can discover. Act quickly but stealthily, so evidence does not disappear.
If you think fraud has occurred, you must follow a full and fair investigation process. You do not want to be paying the fraudster damages for their hurt feelings because of a poor process.
EasyHR can help you prepare for interviewing and put employment policies into place to protect you. Call Tarryn on 027 530 1255 for a chat.
There was a case reported in the press recently (April 2019) involving the Chow Brothers, who own the Stonewood Group commercial property company, having to pay out $67,077 to a former employee after the company sacked her for ‘irreconcilable differences’ that it could not prove.
It’s a long story with a lot of information and background so we won’t detail it here, but you can read the full news article here
In summary, the onus is on the employer to prove that the relationship was so broken that it was impossible to continue. As an employer it’s also up to you to prove that the employee was responsible for the breakdown (something that the Chow Brothers were unable to do).
Simply not getting along is not enough to justify a dismissal for incompatibility!
The employer really must investigate the matter fully before any decisions are made – this means discussing the problem and possible solutions with the employee before taking drastic action.
This case is rare and unusual – but don’t get caught out. If you need help with a situation relating to an employee’s perceived performance, give Tarryn a call on 027 530 1255.
This Act came into effect in New Zealand on 1 April 2019 and adds legal protection in the workplace for people affected by domestic violence.
It gives employees affected by domestic violence the rights to:
It does not matter when the domestic violence took place. The employee still has these rights if they experienced domestic violence before they began working for their current employer or before these changes to the law.
We could write pages and pages about this Act, but below are some links to summary information, the Act itself, Fact Sheet from Employment NZ and an FAQ sheet – these will help you understand the act and what it means to you as an employer.
The Domestic Violence Act 2018
Summary information from Employment New Zealand
FAQs for employers and employees
We advise you to update your workplace policies to cover domestic violence rights and responsibilities. Having clear policies helps build good working relationships between workers and employers and makes it simpler for both employee and employers to handle the effects of domestic violence. Employers who break employment law may have to pay up to $20,000.
If you need any help understanding the Act and its implications or if you need help updating your workplace policies, please call Tarryn on 027 530 1255 or Josie on 021 236 5079
Tarryn has worked in HR for over 14 years and loves to solve problems. She is a self professed employment relations junkie! She lives in Auckland with her dedicated husband, tireless toddler and three special needs cats.