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Helping Employers Make The Most Of Their Workforce

The Hon Max Bradford, Minister of Enterprise and Commerce, and the Hon
Georgina te Heuheu, Minister of Women's Affairs, today announced the 5
successful projects to be funded in 1999/2000 by the Equal Employment
Opportunities Contestable Fund.

"The EEO Fund aims to promote good EEO management practices so that employers make the most out of their workforce", said Mr Bradford. "The successful projects aim to produce resources and examples to encourage employers to recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce."

Mrs te Heuheu said "The projects address a range of important EEO issues and will help raise the awareness of EEO among employers and employees. They will also help provide practical solutions for employers to implement change in the workplace. As Minister of Women’s Affairs, I am pleased New Zealand provides leadership on these issues."

This year's projects include resources relating to the employment of Pacific Islands peoples, a disability resource for employers, and a retention strategies resource for employers in relation to employees on and returning from parental leave.

The Ministers said these resources would add to those the Fund has already produced to assist employers to look carefully at the way they function to ensure they are making the most of their staff.

The EEO Fund was set up in 1991 as part of the Government's policy to
counter labour market discrimination through the promotion of equal
employment opportunities.

Resource material from previous projects supported by the EEO Fund is
available from the EEO Trust. (PO Box 12929, Auckland, ph: 09 525 3023,
www.eeotrust.org.nz) The Trust was also set up in 1991, and is funded by
the Government and private sector employers to promote equal employment
opportunities as good management practice. The Trust now has 257 employer
members and a comprehensive resource database.

Any group or individual can apply to the EEO Fund and all applications are
assessed against the Fund's guidelines for applicants. A total of 40
applications were received for the 1999/00 funding round.


EEO Trust

The EEO Trust was established by the Government and employers in 1991 to promote equal employment opportunities as good management practice. Their project involves producing and disseminating a set of boxed booklets as a disability resource for employers and recruitment consultants using a range of material. The boxed set of booklets will include practical guides for employers to physical and attitudinal adjustments in the workplace for people with disabilities. This resource will provide comprehensive reference material for use by employers about the needs of people with disabilities in employment.

Funding: $80, 326.00

Mercer Cullen Egan Dell

Mercer Cullen Egan Dell is a human resources consulting company, providing specialised services and information for a wide range of organisations in Australia and New Zealand. Their project involves producing a resource booklet providing suggestions for employers and HR practitioners on effective retention strategies for employees on and returning from parental leave. The retention strategies will be based around the experience of a number of organisations who have been successful in this area.

Funding: $ 60,900.00

Niu Pacific Limited

Niu Pacific was established in January 1998, and focuses on research, communications, and policy development in areas related to New Zealand’s development as a South Pacific nation. Their project is to produce a series of six newsletters to educate and raise the awareness of employers about EEO and Pacific Islands people. The newsletters will also provide practical advice to employers about EEO and Pacific Islands people. These newsletters will be disseminated to around 2000 employers. Feedback about the usefulness of the resources will be obtained through a follow-up survey. The newsletters will cover a range of EEO issues including recruitment, retention, career development etc, and will be a useful reference guide for employers in the future.

Funding: $67,500.00

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

The Open Polytechnic provides open and distance learning at a tertiary level. The Open Polytechnic is particularly familiar with the development of resources for non face-to-face training, education and development, and therefore is familiar with the development of resources designed for dissemination to a widely dispersed audience. Their project includes the production of an employment guide to EEO principles relating to the employment of older workers. The employment guide will be based on information gathered from research and focus groups of employers and older employees.

Funding: $41,423.00

Top Drawer Consultants

Top Drawer Consultants is a small consultancy firm that specialises in equity and organisational development issues. The aim of this project is to produce a booklet that will provide employers with a practical tool to use when designing and implementing remuneration policies and practices and auditing current remuneration practices. The booklet will enable employers to be confident that they are not disadvantaging groups of staff on irrelevant factors such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

Funding: $29, 219.50

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