Employers complain of “health and safety overkill”

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A new survey is revealing the biggest issues for businesses ahead of the general election and it seems compliance remains one of the most pressing concerns.

Conducted by cloud accounting firm Reckon, the survey found that a third of businesses feel the government has done enough to reduce the cost and complexity of compliance.

Almost half said the government had done “somewhat” enough and a further 22 per cent felt the government had done “enough” or “a lot” to reduce cost and complexity around compliance.

Grant Linton, GM of Reckon Accountant Group, said a quarter of those surveyed believed it was not easy to run a business in New Zealand – much of that was down to difficulties around compliance.

“The most common reason was the cost of compliance and how it takes focus away from core business,” he said. “One respondent gave the example of ‘health and safety overkill’ as being a compliance cost which hit companies particularly hard.”

Other factors making it difficult to run a business in New Zealand include the challenge of finding qualified staff, and difficulty when needing to dismiss staff.

Eighty-four percent of respondents said technological advancements and the “rise of the robots” was impacting on their business and the roles their staff will play now and in the future.

“It was clear the majority of businesses were moving with the times, and embracing the concept of automation,” says Linton. “The challenge is making it work for them with many companies needing support through this transition or risk being left behind and unable to compete.”

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