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

 

Pass mark for 90-day trials in new MBIE survey

Pass mark for 90-day trials; mixed results for disputes, holiday rules, survey shows

By Jonathan Underhill

June 11 (BusinessDesk) - Trial periods for workers of up to 90 days has met with widespread acceptance by employers, with 59 percent saying they've taken on staff on that basis in the past year, a new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment study shows.

Trial periods of up to 90 calendar days were widened to cover all employers in April 2011, having been introduced in early 2009 in initially covering firms with fewer than 20 workers. The ministry's survey evaluates the short-term impact of the change and also the impact of changes to the Holidays Act to make leave more flexible, unions' access to work places, and changes to streamline dispute resolution.

The survey shows about one third of employers hired people they wouldn't otherwise have taken on because the 90-day trial reduced the risk and provided a 'safety net'. Some had made it a standard part of their employment contracts. The building industry, wholesale trade, retail and accommodation industries showed the biggest uptake of trial periods, at above 40 percent, while education and training having the lowest usage at 14 percent. The average across all industries was 36 percent.

When asked why they had adopted trial periods for employees, 52 percent of employers said it was to check a worker's ability to do a job before making a permanent appointment. Almost 25 percent said they wanted to check an employee was the right 'fit' with their work place and about 20 percent did it to manage risk and avoid dismissal issues.

A chart of key characteristics of employees hired using trial periods shows that the biggest group were migrants who had lived in New Zealand for less than five years, with more than 50 percent having to accept a trial - above the 35.8 percent average across all groups. About 40 percent of Pacific peoples and Asians were hired with a trial period, although this may partially reflect that these groups had a higher-than-average proportion of recent migrants. The study said results for disadvantaged groups and Maori were statistically within the margin of error of the average for all groups.

Of those employers who terminated a worker during or at the end of a trial period, the most common reason given, at about 55 percent, was for being unreliable or having a bad attitude. That was followed at just over 50 percent by lack of skills needed to do the job.

On the Holidays Act changes, employers were less certain of the benefits, the study shows. Most reported compliance costs had remained the same while some reported difficulty applying provisions of the act to workers on variable hours or shifts and there was a general lack of understanding of the rules.

"The view among many employers was that the inherent complexities of the Holidays Act remain difficult to understand in parts and cost to apply correctly to existing employment practices," the study said.

Changes to rules around union access to workplaces and direct communications between employers and employees during collective bargaining had not thrown up any additional issues, the study said.

Amendments to problem resolution rules appeared to have made little difference to the flexibility of mediation services and it was unclear whether the changes had quickened the process of settling disputes.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:


Telecoms: Spark Welcomes Spectrum Allocation And Prepares For 5G Rollout Over The Next 12 Months

Spark welcomes spectrum allocation and prepares for 5G rollout over the next 12 months Spark today welcomed the announcement of the direct allocation process of 5G spectrum, with the Company to be offered management rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz ... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO:



University Of Canterbury: Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky

University of Canterbury (UC) astronomers are part of an international team that has revealed how explosions on the surface of a white dwarf star can increase its brightness by thousands or millions of times making it look like a new star. For ... More>>

Air NZ: Air New Zealand Adds Business-timed Flights For Regions

Air New Zealand will operate business-timed flights in and out of a number of regional ports from next month.
The flights will allow customers in Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill to undertake a day of business in either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch... More>>

ALSO: