How to set an hourly rate for casual workers

For many small business owners, hiring workers on a flexible basis is ideal – especially if paying regular salaries isn’t in the budget and/or the workload is variable. Depending on where you live and operate your business, you need to be aware of the rules when it comes to paying your casual workers. These guidelines can help you get started with understanding how to calculate a fair hourly rate for…  Read more

What are the warning signs of employee fraud?

Billing schemes.  Skimming.  Cheque tampering.  Employee fraud is a real risk for entrepreneurs of fewer than 100 employees. In fact, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 30% of fraud cases take place in small businesses. This article will help you identify the most common signs of fraudulent activity before an unscrupulous employee destroys your business. Identifying high risk employees When an employee has something to hide, their conduct…  Read more

7 Ways to Improve Workplace Productivity

  The success of any business, large or small, depends largely on nurturing an efficient, productive workplace.  While improving employee productivity should be always be a priority when the ultimate goal is a sustainable and profitable business, the process is easier said than done.  Below are some of the most effective methods of managing a productive, happy workplace while increasing output. Establish Accountability Productivity depends on every employee understanding that…  Read more

What is your business doing to attract the next generation?

  Gen Z (born after 1995) are tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, out-of-the-box thinkers – people you want on your team. Here are four ways to attract and retain New Zealand’s next generation of workers. 1. Tinker with your tech Gen Z live and breathe technology – they don’t know life without it. You’ll need to enable your people to collaborate and communicate in the cloud and on any device as well as…  Read more

Today’s apprentice is tomorrow’s foreman

Why apprenticeships work so well With New Zealand’s construction industry going ballistic, a lot of construction companies are looking to hire new staff. Do they stick with their subbies, bring in qualified builders or take on an apprentice? Stefan Cammell, owner of Cammell Projects in Queenstown believes it’s an employer’s responsibility to upskill the next generation and take on apprentices. “Taking on an apprentice is an investment in the future of your…  Read more

Hiring? Look for traits not talent

Soft skills are the personal qualities that make people easy to work with and they’re key for business success. Here are six important soft skills and the best open-ended interview questions you can ask to help find out whether a candidate is right for your business. Communication:  Give me an example of when you had to deal with a difficult team member.  What did you do to communicate properly? Adaptability:  Tell…  Read more

Payroll Pain Relievers

With New Zealand ranking as one of the most complex payroll environments in the world, it’s no wonder many Kiwi employers choose to offload payroll headaches to bookkeepers, accountants, or payroll intermediaries. This trend is picking up steam: with Inland Revenue’s “Payday Filing” scheme kicking off 1 April 2019, instead of reporting PAYE to Inland Revenue on the 20th of the following month, you’ll need to report every payday (though…  Read more

It’s time to gear up for payday filing

Hundreds of Kiwi business owners are enjoying the benefits of payday filing – are you? If not, you’ll need to be by 1 April when payday filing becomes compulsory.  Now’s the time to work out how you’re going to integrate it into your payroll processes and save time on your tax obligations. Payday filing means you need to: File employment information every payday instead of an Employer monthly schedule (IR348).…  Read more

Heard about the new Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill?

Here’s what it means for you. #FACT New Zealand police respond to 270 domestic violence incidents every day and it’s estimated that’s only the tip of the iceberg – with 80% of incidents going unreported. #FACT Did you know domestic violence already costs New Zealand workplaces at least $368 million a year due to higher turnover and lost productivity?  Addressing the problem directly will be better for business and victims…  Read more

How to handle maternity and paternity leave

“Competitive advantage” may not be the first words that come to mind when you think about employees requesting parental leave. For young professionals, however, the option to enjoy time with their new additions can be a very attractive perk – more attractive than health insurance, pensions, and the retirement packages large companies can offer. If attracting top talent and nurturing employee loyalty are important to you, read on.  This article…  Read more

Business Health Check

Do your Christmas housekeeping! Chase up unpaid invoices to encourage payment before Christmas to get cashflow off to a good start for the New Year. Make sure your voicemail message and website mention closing date info and emergency contact details.  Who’s responding to work related emails while you’re on holiday? Is payroll all set up for the holidays?  Don’t leave it till the last minute and double check your calculations.…  Read more

Get up to speed – new rules for motor vehicles

  Did you know the mileage rate we’ve been referring to for years is now the kilometre rate? If you’re a sole trader or in a partnership (and use your own vehicle for business), you can claim your running costs as an income tax deduction. Traditionally, if you own a company you’re liable for FBT any time you provide non-cash benefits (like motor vehicles) to your staff.  Recent amendments to…  Read more

Minimum Wage Rates Increase

From 1 April 2018, the minimum wage rates increased as follows: Adult minimum wage increased from $15.75 to $16.50 per hour; Starting-out minimum wage increased from $12.60 to $13.20 per hour; and Training minimum wage increased from $12.60 to $13.20 per hour. These minimum wage rates apply to employees aged 16 years or over. If you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact us.  Read more

Free online training on employer obligations and rights

Employment New Zealand (as part of the Ministry of Business, Invovation and Employment (MBIE)) has created a free interactive website where you can learn about your responsibilities and rights as an employer or employee. Employers can access free employment learning modules and learn essential information about: Working arrangements Different types of working arrangements and the importance of getting it right How to identify the correct type of Working Arrangement for…  Read more

Parental leave puts an onus on employers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern probably won’t take 18 weeks’ paid parental leave when she has her baby this autumn, but New Zealand law says she’s entitled to it. Staff who’ve worked for you or any other employer for an average of at least 10 hours a week for any 26 weeks of the year preceding the birth or assumption of care of a child can take paid parental leave so…  Read more

‘Tis the season to be… on call

Do you have situations where some employees will be on call during a public holiday? If so, they are usually entitled to a contractual on call payment as well as at least time and a half rates if they are called out. Whether or not they are also entitled to an alternative holiday depends on whether the public holiday falls on what would normally be a working day: If you…  Read more

Building your dream team

In order for your business to be a success, you need to be surrounded by like-minded people with good core skills and values, aiming for the same end goal. In essence, this is your dream team. But how do you ensure you’re recruiting the right team players? Be clear What are the qualities you require from employees? Think, plan and be specific so that the right applicants come forward from…  Read more

Filling Employment Gaps Over Summer (Summer 2016)

With the holidays coming up, you may have started to think about whether to employ some extra people over the holidays. If you do, think carefully about the kind of help you need and broadly what kind of employment contract is best suited to the situation. It’s important to make sure you comply with current employment law and have it right from the start. Casuals Casual employees might be right…  Read more

Enforcing Employment Standards (Spring 2016)

It is taking time for the impact of this year’s employment law changes to sink in. Parental leave and the demise of zero hours contracts received a lot of press. Enforcing employment standards has had some coverage but always sounds a bit abstract in comparison. Yet this is an area that seems to bite employers. The basic idea is to make sure employers pay at least minimum wage and give…  Read more

Don’t be caught out on Holiday Pay! (Autumn 2016)

Holiday pay has been in the news recently and we know the Labour Inspectors from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will be checking that other employers have been recording and paying entitlements correctly. There are two ways of calculating holiday pay: it can be based on ordinary weekly pay at the beginning of the holiday; or average weekly earnings over the previous 12 months The correct amount of…  Read more

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