“Fundamental” changes ahead for HR

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HR professionals are being warned to prepare for major change after two leading experts suggested there will be significant amendments to the employment space in 2018.

Christie Hall, who leads EY’s Employment, Health & Safety and Privacy Law practice, teamed up with solicitor William Fussey to offer advice for the year ahead.

In a joint article, the pair warned that legal amendments planned by the new Labour-led Government will create "fundamental changes" to New Zealand’s workplaces.

In particular, the authors said the 75 cent rise of the minimum wage will likely be at the forefront of many employers' minds along with potential changes to the changes to the Equal Pay Act and the extension of paid parental leave.

“Employers … are increasingly under pressure to diversify their workforce, ensure their senior leadership roles attract sufficient female talent, and to publish information about their gender pay gap and diversity policies," the pair wrote in the article.

The EY authors also said government plans to modify trial periods so employers have an obligation to provide reasons for dismissing new staff could create problems.

"Lawyers will be locked out of the dispute resolution process, compensation will be capped and referees' decisions will not be open to appeal,” they wrote.

“If instituted, this will mark a fundamental change to the current system and additional complications to the employment dispute resolution regime."

While each of the amendments on their own would not completely overhaul the current employment space, both Hall and Fussey say there are enough small changes to make a major difference.

“Together they will create fundamental changes in the way we are responding to significant global trends in workplace management,” they write.

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