November 2023 news
Accredited Employer Work Visa
If you have become an accredited employer for overseas recruitment, from the 29 October you are no longer able to include a 90-day trial period in employment agreements. You can read more about this on Immigration NZ website.
With the Christmas/New Year break rapidly approaching we are receiving queries about closing practices for the days between Christmas and New Year statutory public holidays.
Some businesses will observe an annual closedown. This applies when the business customarily closes down for this period each year. There are specific requirements under the Holidays Act, and in most cases you will have included a ‘Close Down’ clause in your employment agreements. This should detail your obligations around the notification period, what happens in terms of employees using annual holiday entitlement and what happens if they don’t have the annual leave entitlement or don’t have enough leave to cover the period. We have content about this at Close down periods (healthypractice.co.nz)
If you don’t customarily close down over this period but have decided that this year you would like to close, you need to do this in consultation with staff. You can direct your staff to use entitled leave with at least 14 days’ notice if you can’t come to agreement, but you may find that you will have to pay your staff for the days that you have chosen to close.
You and your staff will be planning their summer holidays and for some managers it will be a juggling act managing staff expectations about leave and having sufficient staff to provide services.
In general, annual holidays should be taken by agreement. When there are popular periods for leave like around Christmas and Easter, you need to be sure that you have a fair process for dealing with leave requests and allocation. We would recommend having a leave policy and an application process and we have sample templates at this link Annual holidays (healthypractice.co.nz)
Calculating holiday pay for permanent employees can be confusing. The rate of holiday pay must be paid at the greater of the employee’s ordinary pay or average weekly earnings over the last 12 months. Annual holidays (healthypractice.co.nz) The payment is different for employees returning from parental leave Annual holidays (healthypractice.co.nz)
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