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Employment Guide For Winegrowers

22 May 2006

New Zealand Winegrowers releases practical legal guide for employing seasonal vineyard workers

As some wine regions continue to experience seasonal labour shortages, New Zealand Winegrowers has developed a comprehensive guide to assist with industry employment issues, entitled: ‘Seasonal vineyard workers - the practical guide to grape growers’ legal obligations’.

Dr John Barker, Manager Policy and Membership for New Zealand Winegrowers, says “the guide will give grape growers some clarity to the often confusing legal issues when hiring vineyard workers, such as tax, employment law, health and safety and immigration.”

“The idea of the guide is not to set out chapter and verse of the law, but to answer the grower’s basic question of ‘what do I have to do?’ and to point them in the right direction. Above all, this is intended to be simple and straightforward.”

The wine industry is a major employer in many regions, with some areas experiencing regular labour shortages over the past few years, bringing employment issues to the fore.

New Zealand Winegrowers has been working closely with the government and the horticulture sector to implement a national seasonal labour strategy. However, to address current issues facing its members, New Zealand Winegrowers teamed with Bell Gully to produce their own practical guide to assist in employment issues.

“Continuing high employment and vineyard expansion means that labour shortages are likely to be ongoing,” said Dr Barker. “We wanted to pull together all relevant information and provide our members with an accurate, quick reference to have at their fingertips”.

The guide has recently been distributed to all members of New Zealand Winegrowers and underlines the commitment of the industry to treat its workers fairly and legally.


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