New Zealand’s next minimum wage increase is occuring in the midst of the country being at COVID-19 Alert Level 4. On Wednesday, 1 April 2020 the adult minimum wage rate increased by $1.20, from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour. The starting-out and training minimum wage rates will increase 96 cents from $14.16 to $15.12 per hour, and will remain at 80% of the adult rate.
The Government has announced a COVID-19 Business Continuity Package to assist businesses struggling due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent determination of the Employment Relations Authority highlights the need for employers to comply with statutory minimum record keeping requirements.
NZ Mountain Hunting Limited (NZMH) is a big game hunting safari business near Omarama. It has been in business since 1995 and employed hundreds of employees over its annual hunting seasons which start in February and finish in August each year.
Now that employers with 20 or more employees do not have the ability to dismiss those employees who are ‘not working out’ under the 90 day trial period clause, they need to decide whether they should implement the less powerful but more labour intensive probationary periods in their employment agreements.
An employer may require a newly hired employee to serve a period of probation to give the employer an opportunity to evaluate the employee’s performance before confirming the appointment.
Many recent and upcoming key changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) are aimed at strengthening union and collective bargaining rights. They also increase awareness and protection for new employees, particularly where their new role is covered by a collective agreement (CEA).