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.


Legal Latest - January 2016

The legal cases settled over the last few months have given a lot of food for thought.  This month will be a long summary – if you want more detail in an area please ask and I will find the relevant case detail for you.

These cases included:

  • Fines for breach of wage records etc
  • Criteria for identifying casual employment
  • When dismissals result in lost wages awards
  • Mediated Settlement Agreements without mediation
  • Suspension - good process
  • Easy ways to avoid big Health and Safety fines
  • Changes to visa requirements for Trades
Read more about 'Legal Latest - January 2016'...

Turning around a problem employee with a mental health issue

The Australian workplaces have estimated a cost of some $11 billion per annum related to untreated mental health issues.  I asked Michael Hempseed of Employee Solution Service (ESS) what he suggested could be done about this in NZ.

He indicated that so often managers see only two options with poor performers: put up with the problem or dismiss them. But best is a third option: turn them around.  Understanding and addressing mental health issues can be simple and effective. 

Read more about 'Turning around a problem employee with a mental health issue'...

Engaging your staff

A new year is a good time to reflect on how to improve your staff commitment to your business.

A recent study by AtTask found that on average only 45% of time gets spent on key tasks; 64% of staff are confused about who does what and 80% have conflict with other departments.  So what can you do to get your staff more focused on their work?

Read more about 'Engaging your staff'...

Keeping staff who want to leave

Over 40% of under 33 year-olds intend to leave their job within 2 years.  Deloitte have completed a big Millennials survey and it is clear that this generation  still favour job-hopping in order to advance their careers.  It seems that it is easier for them to show their growth this way than if they stay in one place.  A significant number are clearly seeking leadership and responsibility and won't await the dead man's shoes.

Read more about 'Keeping staff who want to leave'...

Employment Agreements - who understands them?

Only 0.6% of people read their employment agreements in full!  That is 6 people in a thousand.

Read more about 'Employment Agreements - who understands them?'...

September Update

This month's Update has a primary focus on the legislation proposed by the government to reinforce basic Employment Standards.

Read more about 'September Update'...

Rugby World Cup and absenteeism

Well, once again sport takes over NZ businesses!  Go the All Blacks but just how should you manage your staff when their rugby support limits their productivity?

Read more about 'Rugby World Cup and absenteeism'...

Helping Staff who suffer from Domestic Violence

Kudos to The Warehouse Group – they have announced that victimised employees will be entitled to an additional 10 days paid leave per year for meetings etc related to getting...

Read more about 'Helping Staff who suffer from Domestic Violence'...

Equal Pay - a measurement challenge

So, the College of Midwives has started legal action and the NZ Education Institute has said it will do likewise on behalf of education support workers.

Read more about 'Equal Pay - a measurement challenge'...

Health Safety Law passed with my amendment

Allow me to blow my own trumpet - at least this one time!  When I spoke to the Select Committee on behalf of small businesses I asked for one thing...

Read more about 'Health Safety Law passed with my amendment'...