Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


MBIE’s dairy farm employee position statement positive

8 May 2014

MBIE’s dairy farm employee position statement positive

With the employment practices of dairy farmers in the media spotlight, the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Labour Inspectorate’s newly released position statement, is to be followed up by both Federated Farmers and DairyNZ.

“Dairy farmers can expect a joint Industry Best Practice Guidance note next week,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson.

“Both Federated Farmers and DairyNZ endorses MBIE’s common sense position statement, which not only reminds employers about the Minimum Wage Act 1983, but reminds them ‘seasonal averaging’ has gone the same way as 245-T.

“Bearing in mind many farm employers pay above the minimum wage for entry level roles, it reminds employers the law stipulates that every employee must be paid at least the minimum wage, for every hour they work.

“We genuinely applaud MBIE’s decision to review the Minimum Wage Order to include a fortnightly minimum wage rate in the order.

“Farm employees tell us they want to be paid consistent wages but the Minimum Wage Order’s current week-by-week focus is outdated. It does not reflect the modern rostered environment on today’s farms.

“What MBIE is doing will benefit many other industries outside of the primary industries.

“The Statement addresses the biggest concern I had with what MBIE recently found and that was widespread failure to properly record time and holidays. This makes any employer’s position indefensible and exposes farm businesses to fines of up to $20,000.

“As an overwhelming number of farm employees receive accommodation, the Statement says that accommodation costs can be treated as “wages” under the Minimum Wage Act.

“While employers and employees may agree that accommodation costs can be deducted before the payment of wages, accommodation costs should be clearly detailed and reasonable.

“Record keeping is vital and needs to be kept separate from the employment agreement, or is able to be separated.

“Given there are considerable benefits to working on-farm, from food to firewood, the statement clarifies that such benefits do not form part of the employee’s wages. Instead, if the employee agrees, it can be deducted from wages at an agreed cost.

“Both Federated Farmers and DairyNZ know our guys need to seriously lift their game because if you are deficient you will be done like a dog’s dinner.

“If you are a Federated Farmers member, our industry standard employment contract costs just $60 ($300 for non-members). While there’s GST on top, the contract includes comprehensive notes covering the minimum wage, holidays act and the like.

“On Monday, we released a more advanced Employers Pack providing all the information, requirements, forms and agreements that any first time employer needs in agriculture.

“In light of the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Bill, our employers pack contains a new drug and alcohol policy as well as an outline of the correct disciplinary process.

“For members of the Federation, this more detailed version costs a mere $120 with GST on top. A very small price to pay considering the penalties and bad press at stake.

“If farm employers are members of the Federation, they can further call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) to access the Federation’s free employment law help line. If you are in doubt just call us,” Katie Milne concluded.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

ETS Review: Modelling Documents Released

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>

ALSO:

Northland: Govt Plan Targets Transport, Web, Maori Assets

The government has released a 10-year plan to attract investors and lift economic growth in Northland, a region that perennially underperforms the rest of the country even while being endowed with natural beauty, productive land, minerals, a potential workforce, scope for manufacturing, forestry and aquaculture, and proximity to Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Urges Talley’s To End AFFCO Lockout

Labour has urged Talley’s to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute with AFFCO workers which is having a severe effect on the employees, their families and their communities, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. More>>

ALSO:

Three Kings: Govt To Oppose Appeal Blocking $1.2B Auckland Housing Plan

Environment Minister Nick Smith and Housing New Zealand have joined legal proceedings in support of Auckland Council and Fletcher Building opposing a bid by community groups to only allow low-rise housing in a $1.2 billion housing redevelopment on the disused site of the Three Kings quarry. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Jetstar Expands Regional Network With Three New Routes

More New Zealanders than ever before will have access to Jetstar’s affordable flights when new services take off today from Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson to Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news