“Ridiculous” legislation sees HR-language banned

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New Zealand employers are reeling after a controversial Act was passed this morning, banning the use of certain terminology in employment contracts and other workplace documents.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” one industry leader told HRM. “We rely on these terms to get our point across and connect to everyone else in the organization.”

Politicians, however, took a different stance and blasted the much-used terminology as “baffling beyond belief,” and said employers had relied on the exclusive and ambiguous lexis for far too long.

The push for change started some months ago, after disgruntled employee Alma Winer won her constructive dismissal claim. The 44-year-old successfully argued that she couldn’t be held accountable for her poor performance or lack of direction because her leaders failed to communicate effectively.

The judge agreed, saying it was impossible for 44-year-old Winer to identify any specific requirements from the instructions offered.

He went on to provide a multitude of examples that he advised should no longer appear in job descriptions, employment contracts or, in fact, any converse within the office environment.
These include:
  • Dynamic
  • Synergy
  • Game changer
  • Proactive
  • Paradigm shift
  • The war for talent
  • Skills gap
  • Big data
  • Scalable
  • Talent mobility
  • Talent community
  • Core competency
  • Connectivity
The controversial ruling, which will give employees added power in constructive dismissal claims, comes into place on April 1, 2017.

On a final note, HRM would like to wish all readers a Happy April Fools' Day.

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