Posted on 15 April 2014

Is it time to ban after hours work?

Rising concerns over work stress and productivity has seen a number of laws and policies implemented in Europe to combat the problem. France is the most recent to make headlines with a new labour agreement for staff working in the digital and consultancy sectors to “disconnect” from work calls and emails outside of working hours.

Under the agreement companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones to ensure they are receiving the full minimum rest periods they are afforded under the law.

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Beware ageism at work

Ageism is an issue that consistently lurks beneath the surface of employment decisions. In many countries, including New Zealand, human rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. However, that doesn't stop it.

Recently Michael Buerk, a BBC news reader, has created controversy with his colourful comments about female television presenters.

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Vineyard contractors fined over pay

Two Blenheim residents running a vineyard contracting business have been fined more than $2000 for not paying staff wages and holiday pay.

In a determination from the Employment Relations Authority, Papani Tupou and Ofa Fotu-Moala were fined $2361.96 for not paying their staff properly and for not complying with Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment requirements.

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Posted in: Culture Employment Relations Health and Wellbeing   Comments


Posted on 14 April 2014

Contracts vital for workers

"You can be fined $20,000 for not having an employment agreement," a labour inspector from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) told me recently, over a cup of coffee.

We were talking about employer compliance and how exposed some business owners leave themselves - $20,000 is a lot of money, especially since you can get expert assistance to draft an employment contract for about 1 per cent of that amount. There are even some free resources available.

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Widening pay gap 'can be fixed'

The pay gap between the highest and lowest earners is getting wider. It's a trend that, says one researcher, can be traced back to the 1980s.

The OECD report, Society at a Glance 2014, says the highest-paid 10 per cent of workers in New Zealand earn 32 times more than the poorest 10 per cent - a 32-to-one pay ratio.

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Harrassment was 'horseplay' - sacked worker

An assistant baker fired after sexually harassing a fellow worker, tried to claim the woman involved enjoyed "horseplay" in the workplace and gave the impression he couldn't speak English properly during an employment investigation.

Mosese Fatukala was dismissed from Goodman Fielder in February 2012 after a female worker complained about his actions, and those of several others, at work.

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Posted in: HR Administration Pay & Benefits Employment Relations   Comments