July Update and advising Mike will be on Annual Leave

Thursday 14th July 2022

 

In this update:

 

Mike on Annual Leave

Yes! You heard it right! It's been a long time coming ... but I can now confirm ... I am taking a week's leave!

Beginning 1st August Essential HR offices will be closed for 1 week - no-one will be here to take or respond to your calls.  Jess will be back from 8th August - me not until the 10th.

Instead - if you need HR advice during that time I have persuaded my friends to cover for me and you may contact them direct: 

Libby Fraser (libby@libbyfraser.co.nz or 021 08550517)

Layla Dowthwaite (layla@freedomhr.nz or 021 2425800)

In the meantime, let's get all your immediate needs sorted before I go - just give us a call on 03 3650532 or 027 2808546.

 

Protected Disclosures Act 2022 (Protection of Whistleblowers)

The new Protected Disclosures Act 2022 replaces the old Act (2000) and came into force on 1st July 2022.

While the Act largely continues to facilitate the disclosure and investigation of serious wrongdoing in the workplace, and providing protection for those who report concerns, the reviewed Act does the following:

  • Extends the definition of serious wrongdoing – generally these are illegal acts but does not include employment matters (covered by the ERA/Holidays Act etc) and does not cover minor irregularities
  • Enables a disclosure to report serious wrongdoing directly to an appropriate authority at any time (it previously stated the need to go to the organisation first)
  • Specifies what a receiver of a disclosure should do
  • Clarifies the potential forms of adverse conduct disclosures face

Private organisations still have no legal responsibility to have a protected disclosure procedure, but if a Protected disclosure is made to the organisation it does have to take action within 20 days.  Refer to this document for a summary.

 

Case Law Developments – Restraint of Trade and 90-day trial terminations

We try to keep on top of current Employment Case Law and regularly review case summary information supplied by the Chamber of Commerce.

Below is some guidance based some recent Court decisions:

  • Restraint of Trade and Non-Solicitation:

When wanting to include restraint of trade and non-solicitation clauses to your contracts, you need to ensure that they are addressing a valid business risk and reasonable in relation to duration and geographic extent.

The case of BRS Christchurch v Meikle [2022] related to an Asbestos Removal business in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch.  The Court upheld a geographical restraint of 75 Km from one of their businesses but reduced the period of restraint from 18/12 months to 6 months.

You should check your own restraints – be encouraged that 6 months is clearly acceptable and so is a reasonable extent of Km.

 

  • Dismissal under the 90-day trial period:

The case of Ward v Edenvale Home Trust Board [2022] suggests that dismissing under the 90-day trial for performance issues is ok where there are known performance issues; but the process followed must still be fair and not involve an ambush or allegations to which the employee has not been able to fairly respond.

In general, it will be simplest simply to terminate for no specific reason as long as that is consistent with messages you have been feeding back.  But if there is a specific performance concern that the employee is aware of, you will need to follow a process that raises the concern and gives the employee opportunity to respond and be listened to.  If so, call us.

 

Attracting new recruits

The most recent Hays Employee Survey and Salary Guide provided some interesting information as to what employees value in the workplace and what potential applicants look for in new job opportunities.

In this current job market, finding good talent to fill job vacancies has been proving difficult and businesses often present offers to applicants who have several other offers. It is a very competitive market where the Employee/Applicants have the upper hand and you need to be persuasive!

According to the Hays survey, some of the most important things for Employees include “developing new skills”, “being challenged and supported in their professional and personal development” and having “flexible working arrangements”.

Not surprisingly concerns over pay and benefits, lack of career opportunities and poor culture at work are the things most likely to turn employees away.

Our experience totally endorses the demand for a more flexible working situation, both with hours and location. But if you want to make this work, be aware: there are a number of complexities when it comes to Working From Home/remotely and if you are considering this as an option, please get in touch to discuss these challenges and how we can work through them.

 

Essential HR are here to help.  For ongoing help, please contact us on – 03 3650532, or contact Mike directly on 027 2808546 or mike@essentialhr.co.nz

I’m happy for you to pass this on to others.

And if you need to conference call, we are all set up with Zoom.

Need help managing staff?

Essential HR has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. We can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

Keeping You Posted

14 July 2022

July Update and advising Mike will be on Annual Leave

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23 March 2022

Covid-19 Update - Changes to the Covid Response

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25 February 2022

Essential Update – 25 February 2022 – Phase three Implications

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We share an analysis; summary of key legal developments and useful tips. You can receive our regular updates, sharing a summary of key legal developments, analysis and useful tips. Each monthly newsletter includes Mike's whereabouts, and the articles posted throughout the month.