“One of the most significant things for businesses right now is that they need to be agile enough to implement any changes that the coalition government seeks to impose,” says Jennifer Tweed, managing director of Employsure New Zealand.
“We already know there will be a rise in the minimum wage and there are going to be significant changes from a trial period stand point, as well as the doubling of labour inspectors,” she continues.
Tweed – who was formerly general counsel for Randstad – says employers need to be preparing for changes that are already on the horizon while ensuring their organisation is agile enough to accommodate any amendments that come.
“Employers have to make sure that they’re staying on top of the conversation and the dialog to make sure they can prepare themselves for any changes that may impact them,” she tells HRD.
Medium businesses, in particular, are the ones which need to pour extra efforts into the area.
“Small businesses often have their own platform from a policy perspective and big businesses are well resourced to stay abreast of developments but it’s the medium sized business that need to ensure they have the ability to look at the policy reform that might take place and know how to react to it,” she says.
Auckland-based Tweed acknowledges that there’s still a fair amount of policy to be worked out but says that, so far, there’s nothing that Kiwi employers shouldn’t be able to cope with.
“Everything that’s been put forward is workable but it’s going to be about the detail behind it and how business can prepare for any change in advance because maintaining certainty and stability within the workforce is going to be key in the coming months.”
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A leading figure in the employment relations field says organisations must be extremely agile moving forward, otherwise they risk falling behind on important policy changes.