Date: 31st March 2016
A number of key changes come into effect this month, including an increase to the minimum wage, new health and safety regulations, and new employment standards. Here’s a quick summary.
The minimum wage will increase from $14.75 to $15.25 per hour. Training and new entrants’ minimum wages will increase from $11.80 to $12.20 per hour.
More information on the minimum wage can be found at Employment NZ.
Changes to health and safety laws take effect from 4 April 2016. The new law says you need to take reasonably practical steps to manage any critical risks – those that could cause illness or injury serious enough to keep someone off work. Have you assessed how the new laws affect your business and implemented anything you need to? If not, contact us or read more about health and safety changes below.
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has been passed, bringing into effect from 1 April 2016 some important changes to the employment statutes. These include extending parental leave, spearing zero hour contracts and strengthening compliance with minimum employment standards.
A greater range of people — for example, certain casual workers and seasonal workers, employees with more than one employer and those that have recently changed jobs — will have the opportunity to access paid parental leave, which is up to 18 weeks from 1 April onwards. The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act will also extend to a wider range of primary carers than biological or formal adoptive parents.
Employees on paid leave will be able to take ‘keeping-in-touch’ days, enabling them to work limited hours during their paid leave period.
Employers won’t be able to:
Focused on ensuring employers pay at least minimum wage and give employees their proper holiday entitlements. Enforcement measures include a new infringement notice regime, clearer record-keeping requirements, and tougher sanctions for serious breaches such as exploitation.
Check employment records are comprehensive and employment agreements comply with the standards.
As always, we’re here to help you with any of this. Please get in contact if you would like to discuss your business.