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Personal grievance claims up 8% last year

Media statement Thursday, January 17th 2008

Personal grievance claims up eight per cent last year

Nearly 40 per cent of workplaces reported personal grievance claims in 2007 according to an end of year employment survey, up from 30.5 per cent in 2006.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) survey late last month achieved 612 responses. Complete results from the survey are attached.

A third of employers facing personal grievance claims paid up to settle out of court, said David Lowe, EMA's Manager of Employment Services.

"The results confirm earlier research that the personal grievance industry is way out of hand," Mr Lowe said.

"Other issues covered in the survey concerned employers contributions to KiwiSaver, the performance of ACC, whether four weeks holiday is going to five, and the difficulties in attracting skilled staff.

"The vast majority of employers plan to stick to the statutory minimum of paying one per cent in compulsory employer contributions to their employees' KiwiSaver accounts.

"Few intend jumping the gun by paying out more in KiwiSaver contributions in the battle to recruit and retain staff.

"64 per cent of employers say they will address the pay inequities that KiwiSaver has created between employees who join and those who don't. For these employers, those who join KiwiSaver will have employer contributions treated as a tax-free benefit paid out of the total employment package and those who don't will be paid the cash equivalent less tax.

"On accident insurance, two thirds of employers said they would prefer to manage all injuries to employees themselves, regardless of whether they were work related.

"Employers regard ACC as the least effective manager of injuries out of three options put to them; ACC, the employer, or via a private third party.

"As in 2006, tight labour market conditions are driving wage growth with employers who responded to the question saying they paid an average wage rise of 4.76 per cent to staff on individual agreements compared to a 4.03 per cent increase paid to their unionized colleagues."


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