“The use of a ‘three week rule’ by Wendco (NZ) Limited to work out entitlements around public holidays meant some employees were not being provided with their full entitlements, and the employer was not meeting their obligations under the Holidays Act.
“To work out an employee’s rights to an alternative holiday, you need to know whether the day is an ‘otherwise working day’ for the employee.
“Working out whether the day is an ‘otherwise working day’ is a practical task, and each situation needs to be considered based on the employee’s specific situation and work pattern, where employers consider and apply all of the factors of s12 of the Holidays Act where they are relevant.
“If it’s unclear whether the day is an ‘otherwise working day’, the things that may need to be considered include what the employment agreement says, the employee's usual work patterns, what the rosters say, whether the employee would normally have worked, and any other relevant factors.
“Employers who configure their payroll system in a way that is convenient to themselves without proper regard to their obligations run a high risk of being non-compliant. While these considerations may require additional effort for some businesses, this is the law and they must abide by it.
“If any employer has breached their obligations through the use of such blanket rules, they must fix their processes to prevent future breaches, and ensure they pay their employees what they’re owed for past breaches.
“This is important as when employers fail to meet their obligations, the employees working hard to sustain the business miss out on their minimum entitlements. In addition, other businesses that do properly meet their obligations face unfair competition.”
Employers who are unsure if they are meeting their obligations under the Holidays Act should go to employment.govt.nz, where there is information, tools and flow charts to help employers become compliant, seek independent legal advice, or ring MBIE’s contact centre on 0800 20 90 20.
Employees who are concerned they are not receiving their minimum entitlements can do the same.
Nov 30, 2017 - The ITF has participated in the WIMDOI (women in male dominated occupations and industries) conference in Australia, setting out the tools and strategies needed to build stronger campaigns and organise women working in such transport workplaces. The biannual conference has been going for 22 years and this year’s, from 21-23 November in Brisbane, was the biggest.
More than 130 women from Australia and New Zealand took part – including firefighters, paramedics, electricians and plumbers, alongside workers from the maritime, road, rail, forestry, construction, meat and manufacturing industries.
Train driver and RTBU (Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union) member Renee Thomasson said: “Because of gender constructs in male dominated industries and the pressure on women to blend in with men, in my workplace there are still major barriers between women accepting other women and solidarity amongst women.
“So my experience at WIMDOI has been extremely empowering. It was inspiring to see women supporting each other and it has equipped me with skills and information to take back to my workplace to share with other women.”
See participants’ message of support to Nemin Al-Sharif.
Participants discussed campaign experiences and topics including training and skills development, gender injustice, pensions and economics. They shared union gender strategies, and strategies to build women’s confidence and influence in overwhelmingly male unions and workplaces. They also discussed the We Won’t Wait campaign and equal access to toilets.
ITF women transport workers’ co-ordinator Jodi Evans commented that this event gave many women a unique opportunity to share their experiences and find solutions to common problems. Importantly, it reinforced that they were not alone in their struggles and that the ITF union family is building a programme to support women working in male dominated occupations and challenge gender-based occupational segregation.
WIMDOI is organised by a committee of seven women, which includes Mich-Elle Myers, (ITF Asia Pacific women’s representative and Maritime Union of Australia national officer) and ITF union the RTBU.
7 Nov - Back from New York, patisserie chef Hilary Wroe recently shared her experience of working at top-end Manhattan restaurants with trainee chefs at EIT. Hilary, who grew up in Waipukurau, was happily embracing Hawke’s Bay’s more relaxed vibe after her hectic year in the Big Apple.
For six months she worked at The Musket Room, a restaurant owned by New Zealander Matt Lambert. Her second six-month stint was at Le Coucou, a French fine dining establishment catering for around 200 guests a night.After just a fortnight back in the country, Hilary was weighing up offers for jobs in New Zealand and overseas. That, she said, was a measure of the demand for well-qualified patisserie chefs. It also reflected the experience she had gained in working for leading restaurants in the USA.
“There will always be a job for me at Le Coucou working for Daniel Skurnick. I’ve also been offered positions in two restaurants in Paris.” After leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College, Hilary completed EIT’s Diploma in Professional Culinary Practice in 2013. That year, she was among the top achievers recognised at the Greenmeadows Rotary and EIT Hawke’s Bay Apprentice Awards.
Patisserie was part of her EIT programme, but because the institution didn’t offer a qualification then that specifically focused on developing those skills, she undertook further studies in Auckland.Now, up-and-coming chefs wanting to specialise in patisserie can study EIT’s advanced diploma programme.
Hilary is enthusiastic about her time at EIT and keeps in touch with her former tutors through Facebook. “If it weren’t for EIT I wouldn’t be where I am today. EIT is great, it’s a good foundation for getting a job.“I’ve enjoyed progressing to patisserie because it calls for a wide range of skills. There are so many facets. You can do bread-making, desserts, candy, chocolates and plated desserts in restaurants.” With the expiry of her one-year visa to the States, Hilary is now considering her next move.
“Ideally, I would probably want to work in a particular Auckland restaurant,” she said. “Otherwise I might go to England and do a stint. There are lots of options. But right now I’m taking a well-deserved break – until I get bored and want a job.”
7 Nov - The latest New Zealand Diversity Survey revealed that 61 per cent of organisations are perceived to value the most senior members of their staff, and a third offer flexible or reduced hours and the opportunity to be a mentor to their aging workers.
The survey is conducted twice a year by Diversity Works New Zealand and Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says it’s also encouraging to see that the number of organisations with no specific strategy for engaging with aging workers dropped from more than 70 per cent a year ago to just 32 per cent last month.
Government figures predict that by 2020, a quarter of the New Zealand workforce will be aged 55 or older, and these wisdom workers can offer a solution to the skills and labour shortage many industry sectors are facing. Businesses need to capitalise on the experience and loyalty they bring to the workforce and the New Zealand economy,” she says.
However, only a quarter of organisations surveyed have a formal policy or initiative in place to deal with the issue of an aging workforce, something Cassidy-Mackenzie expects to change within the next 12 months.
“We saw some great initiatives to maximise the benefits of older workers at the 2017 Diversity Awards NZ™ – the supreme winner, tourism operator Real Journeys, has introduced a scheme that uses its experienced skippers nearing retirement to train younger workers, creating new career opportunities for staff at both ends of the age spectrum.”
Michael Barnett, a director of the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, agrees.
“Hoping that an ageing workforce will be someone else’s problem is not a strategy. The survey clearly shows that older workers are valued and depended on and that we should have a plan to retain and re-educate if we are to keep them as a resource,” he says.
Smaller businesses might consider a strategy that engages older workers who are loyal and will bring knowledge and stability to their work places, he says.
The NZ Diversity Survey, which was initiated in 2013 to create a better understanding of the key diversity challenges facing New Zealand organisations, is carried out twice a year by Diversity Works New Zealand, in partnership with the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and supported by Massey University.
| A Diversity New Zealand release || November 7, 2017 |||
6 Nov - Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes the first ever corporate business as an accredited Living Wage Employer. New Zealand's largest distributor of electricity and gas across the Auckland region, Vector Limited, joins nearly 90 other accredited businesses committed to paying no less than $20.20 to all workers, including contracted cleaners.
The announcement was made at Auckland’s Kai Pasifika restaurant, another Living Wage Employer at midday.
“This is momentous for the Movement and for all New Zealand workers,” says Living Wage Convenor Annie Newman.
“We congratulate Vector for its courage and commitment to a new standard for fair wages, where workers earn enough to live a decent life in NZ,” Annie says.
“The Movement has contacted many of the top NZ firms to invite them to be Living Wage and Vector is the first to embrace the concept. We hope it is just the beginning.”
Vector’s Group Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie says that the business supports a Living Wage because it is the right thing to do.
“Fairness and equity has been a big part of our approach to remuneration for a number of years, and we’re pleased to have this formally recognised through the Living Wage accreditation.
“Vector’s support of a Living Wage is also consistent with our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in particular the goal to reduce inequalities.
“As a large Kiwi employer with staff up and down the country, paying a Living Wage is one way we can help address inequality of living standards.
“In addition to our own people, we’re now working with our partners and suppliers to try and ensure support for a living wage across our supply chain.”
The inaugural Living Wage Week begins today (Monday) with events around the country bringing communities together to grow the movement for decent wages and celebrate businesses that are taking this fair wage standard seriously.
| A Living Wage Aotearoa release || November 6, 2017 |||
3 Nov - For the first time, a comprehensive new guide that introduces young Kiwis to the many career opportunities in New Zealand’s booming service industry has been published by ServiceIQ, Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for tourism and travel, retail and retail supply chain, hospitality, aviation, and museums service sectors.
Service Career Kick-Starter was launched to the whole of the country via the Sunday Star Times at the end of October.
It’s packed full of helpful information, case studies, sector profiles, statistics, job and career paths, and real success stories with just a few of the thousands of talented young New Zealanders gaining an education and industry qualifications on the job, including up-and-coming pilots, aviation engineers, chefs, tour guides, retail managers, museum curators and more.
The well-established industry sectors offer serious opportunities in which to gain an education, real skills, national qualifications and a career, and achieving it all on the job, earning as you learn.
In fact, around 35 percent of all new job opportunities between 2017 and 2021 are in the sectors ServiceIQ serves.
ServiceIQ Chief Executive Dean Minchington says it’s an essential guide to discovering what’s possible and getting a career underway.
“The sectors we serve hold a huge range of possibilities for many young New Zealanders, including secondary school students considering what to do with their life. While university and polytechnic work for some people, for those people who excel at learning by doing, our sectors offer the chance to train
3 Nov - More than $100bn of infrastructure works are planned but country doesn’t have enough local workers to fill the gap. New Zealand has launched a campaign to lure thousands of UK construction workers away from their wintry building sites to deliver the country’s biggest ever infrastructure and housing program. An estimated 65,000 new construction workers will be needed over the next five years to meet demand, forcing the industry to work with the government to create what is the largest ever recruitment drive for UK workers.
The recent downturn in British construction activity had created an ideal employment environment to attract potential migrants, said Greg Edmonds, Auckland Transport’s chief infrastructure officer, as Brexit’s uncertainties continues to take their toll.
A package created by a recruitment consortium, called LookSee Build NZ, offers “experiences”, including fishing, surfing and cultural events, to entice construction professionals. Interested and qualified candidates would then be matched with appropriate employers.
The new Labour-led government wants to spend NZ$2bn (£1bn) building 100,000 new homes over the next 10 years as part of its election promise to improve housing affordability. There are also massive infrastructure works planned during that time, which the industry says will cost about $125bn. However, there aren’t enough local workers to make it happen.
The government forecasts New Zealand’s construction needs will reach a peak in 2020. But despite 11,000 apprentices learning the trades, the industry training organisation says New Zealand still needs many more to meet demand and replace those who retire or leave.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is introducing a scheme that would fast track 1,000 to 1500 visas to specifically attract construction workers from abroad.
Craig West of engineering company Downer, which is part of the LookSee group, said the need for top talent was acute. “Our construction sector is very competitive and this kind of inter-industry cooperation has never happened before but the need for staff requires us to take an all-of-industry approach.”
Aaron Muir, a LookSee Build NZ spokesman and construction consultant, said he did not think the free experiences such as fishing and surfing would by themselves persuade people to make the move. “What it will do is give them a genuine taste of the lifestyle that is on offer in New Zealand,” he said.
The recruitment schemes come as the Labour party also promises to cut net migration to New Zealand by between 20,000 and 30,000 people.
2 Nov - A recruitment agency specialising in finding cryptocurrency and blockchain talent has opened in Sydney. Crypto Recruit has set up shop with the belief that it is the first in the world to offer such niche IT recruitment services, said founder Neil Dundon. “The idea was to get some first mover advantage in the market,” Dundon told Business Insider.
“Nowadays there seems to be general pub talk [about cryptocurrencies] — people are just talking about it all the time and it’s just mental at the moment. So three or four months ago I had the idea: why don’t I couple my passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain… with my skills in recruitment?”
The venture is in its early days so Dundon, who has 13 years experience in the IT recruitment and education sector, is currently busy developing a network of recruiters around the world to find blockchain talent.
But he’s already fielded much interest from the tech industry.
“There really are very few blockchain developers in the world at the moment,” he said.
“There is demand out there at the moment. I’m getting very positive feedback on it. But it’s in it’s infancy stages, so I’m really there to build a brand and help these blockchain projects from a staffing perspective.”
With such a shortage of skills, recruitment for cryptocurrency and blockchain developers can sometimes be a matter of hiring graduates or developers with different backgrounds then upgrading their skills.
And those willing to learn can “make a premium” on top of standard technology salaries, according to Dundon.
“A lot of these projects raised a lot of money from their initial coin offerings and they need to move quickly. So just by the very market forces alone, and the speed to which they have to develop, there can be a premium on top.”
Dondon, who established the Bondi business after becoming a cryptocurrency investor himself earlier this year, already has three employees based both in and out of Australia.
“There’s a whole paradigm shift in front of our eyes and a lot of people aren’t even realising it.”
| A BusinessInsider release || November 2, 2017 |||
Ben Niven was one of the first graduates of the Youth Guarantee (YG) programme at Ara, Institute of Canterbury, and he was back on campus this week to tell the story of how YG gave him the start he needed in the engineering trades industry.
His speech inspired the audience of 15 to 19 year-old students and over 500 family members at the annual Ara Youth Showcase awards.
“I was working fulltime at Hell Pizza. School had not worked out for me,” Ben said. “I did the Youth Guarantee programme in automotive. It taught me a base foundation of everything in my career that I am doing at the moment.”
Ben had high praise for his tutors. “Everything they told me was wonderful and I tried to retain every sentence. I couldn’t stop listening.”
Youth Guarantee gave Ben the opportunity to try different trades and to gain his pre-trade qualification in engineering trades, fees-free. He then worked in an engineering workshop, “doing what I was told”, and was offered the chance to be a contractor at 18, which led to two years of work in Darfield in the dairy industry. A period of subcontracting on projects around town followed. “Driving past things, I could say ‘helped with that’ and it was an exciting feeling.”
“I’m 25 so I guess you could say I’ve done an apprenticeship - seven years of solid learning, solid work, learning on the job.”
The future looks bright. “I have just secured a lease on a reasonable size workshop in Hornby. And to be honest, it was one of the proudest moments of my entire life. I can’t tell you how much it means to me and I’m sure that all of you have the potential to do the same thing if you put your heads to it.”
The annual Ara Youth Showcase awards are testament to the impact youth pathway programmes have on young people. Young people from a range of schools and backgrounds spoke about their experiences in the programme. They had left school and enrolled in YG, or remained at school to complete NCEA credits while also completing Canterbury Tertiary College at Ara.
Held on 26 October in the Whareora, the event gave voice to young people from a range of subject areas including trades, TOA sports, business administration, retail, cooking, health and hairdressing. Some of the speakers said they would not have had the confidence to stand up in front of a large crowd before coming to Ara. All of them thanked their tutors for their extraordinary dedication and care.
Leading economic researcher BERL challenges all businesses to become Living Wage employers to make a real difference to New Zealanders and their communities. On its 60th anniversary celebrations, BERL chief economist Dr Ganesh Nana told invited guests, economists and business people at a gala function in Wellington tonight that BERL had a commitment to the wellbeing of current and future generations. “Corporate visions are great for websites and for glossy marketing collateral. We need to walk the talk. In this light, I am proud to announce that BERL has recently been approved as an Accredited Living Wage employer. “We applied because, yes, it is closely aligned with our vision and yes, because we want to walk the talk against a low-wage, low-skill business model. “And yes, it’s good corporate citizen behaviour but, primarily and most importantly, it is the right thing to do. “I recently stumbled on a Mood of the Boardroom survey that indicated 91 percent of respondents were prepared to pay the Living Wage. I congratulate those already doing so. But tonight, I challenge those 91 percent – and indeed all other businesses – what are they waiting for? Stop waiting for others to take the lead. Walk the talk and commit to a Living Wage business and a high wage economy. “BERL is proud to be a Living Wage employer - in support of moving out of low-wage, low-productivity, low-profitability spiral and towards a high wage, high productivity and high profitability economy.” He says neo-liberal economics is dead so let’s take this opportunity to set a platform for a high wage economy. He remains sceptical and unconvinced of the magnitude of the gains from the experiment of the past three decades. Much of BERL’s work around the regions of Aotearoa provides the evidence in relation to the tradable export sector and the quality of its infrastructure, education and labour market inefficiencies and disconnects, and lagging research and development spending. “Exports are still struggling to breach the 30 percent of GDP threshold, let alone the 40 percent aspirational target and there are many examples of the costs of deferred maintenance as investment in new transformational processes and technologies continue to be in the ‘we can’t afford it’ basket. “Yes, there have been gains from the experiment, but as a true academic researcher I am obliged to weigh up those gains against the costs. I see entrenched disparities in New Zealand, and growing disparities around the globe. These disparities sow the seeds for an unstable future – an instability the consequences of which we in New Zealand will not be able to avoid. “Neo-liberal economics is not dying, rather, it is dead; In the sense of business decisions being driven by market price signals, the neo-liberal economic model is well and truly dead in the water – belly up, being towed by a life-raft known as taxpayer largesse. “In the New Zealand context, the neo-liberal model is an illusion increasingly reliant, not on the market, but on Working for Families supplementing workers’ incomes. “As the welfare net broadens to now capture many that are indeed employed in the market economy, the inability of that market economy to deliver incomes for workers to be able to live (and to provide for their families) becomes ever more stark. This implicit support for a low wage business model does little to encourage a high productivity, high profitability economy. “To break that low wage, low productivity, low profitability spiral requires courage and leadership. Businesses committing to and adopting the Living Wage is a first step,” Dr Nana says. For further information contact Dr Ganesh Nana on 021 1376530 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188. Editors: Please contact us if you wish to receive a copy of Dr Nana’s full speech to the 60th anniversary event tonight. Please contact us if you want any of your newsroom staff to attend the event.