Essential HR

We aim to share short, informative posts on current developments and ideas in the HR space that are of practical use to employers and employees alike!

The Essential HR Team wants to make sure you always know what is happening in the world of human resources. Here we provide you with latest news and updates from Essential HR, as we identify them.  This includes our own analyses, summaries of key legal developments month by month, and useful tips for your organisation.


Genuine non-monetary rewards

I had a meeting with a client a few weeks ago. I am sure you will be able to identify with this client.

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Minimum wage for salary-earners

Employers need to check that any salaried Employees who are paid under $40,000 p.a are still being paid at least the minimum wage.

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Complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act

This law takes effect on 4 April.  If you have not yet done so, you should update your system.  For effective systems this should not be too difficult - checklist below. You could make it part of an annual review of the system.

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Increase in Minimum Wage Rate 1 April

Minimum wage rates will increase to $15.25 from 1 April (and training rates from $11.80 to $12.20).  This is a 3.5% increase in times where inflation is down at 0.1%.

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New law requires accurate records of hours worked and reduces flexibility in working hours. Plus onerous penalties can be imposed.

Employment Standards Legislation is applicable from 4 April.  It introduces serious penalties for a breach of minimum standards.  Do you record exact hours worked by all staff?  Do you need staff to be available to work just when they are needed or need to cancel shifts at short notice?  Do you need to stop staff taking other jobs?  All are affected.

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Court Supports Non-Solicitation clause

Read this if you are concerned about an employee stealing and using your customer database against you.  Tex Onsite have just been awarded some $110,000 against a previous employee who stole customer information and broke a non-solicitation clause.

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New Health and Safety laws

The new H&S law takes effect from 1 April.  If you don't have a system in place or it hasn't been reviewed for a while, now would be a very good time to sort it. 

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How to reward staff without it costing

I am often asked by clients how they can reward staff for good work without it costing them heaps.  Sure, there are incentive plans linking bonuses to performance - but there are many small ways you can give a reward and these can be more timely.  Here are some examples

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Using older workers to enhance your business

Do you focus just on how to help older workers retire (and maybe how quickly)?  Or have you realised that many of them have potential to help your business and want to continue to grow?

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Coping with Waitangi Day Mondayisation

Next month Waitangi Day falls on Saturday 6th, and the law means that if that is not a working day for you, it is observed on Monday 8th.  So what does this mean for individuals you employ?  If they work both; if they normally work one, but you switch them around ...? 

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