It's great to see the whole country back at Level 1 again today. Well done to everyone for following the rules.
For those of you that did suffer a drop in turnover due to the increase in Alert Levels, applications for the resurgence support payment open today. See below for further details on criteria and how to apply.
Back in Level 1 we are gearing up for our training graduations in Auckland and Christchurch where we recognise everyone who gained a qualification over the last two years. Because we were unable to proceed with the graduations last year we are covering those that missed being recognised in 2020.
Hot off the press at 5 am this morning, the recommendations of the Holidays Act Taskforce have been released and accepted by Government. While providing clarity to some leave calculations, they will also increase entitlements in some cases.
Finally a reminder that the safety of visitors to your premises must be a priority when considering health and safety in the workplace and the policies you have in place should be implemented every day. New guidelines are available to help ensure you are following best practice.
Resurgence Support Payment
When I provided details of the Government Support Package in the e-letter two weeks ago, little did we know how soon it would come into play. From today the Resurgence Support Payment is open to all businesses in New Zealand, even those that only went to Alert Level 2. To be eligible the business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue over a seven day period at the raised alert level, compared with a typical seven day revenue period in the six weeks prior to the increase from Alert Level 1.
An eligible business can get $1500, plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 employees - maximum $21,500 per business. For businesses with low revenue, the payment will be capped at four times the actual revenue drop.
Applications open today through your MyIR portal on the IRD website and will remain open for one month.
We are well underway with the planning for our 2021 training graduations and would love to see you there. As we were unable to hold the graduations last year, this year's event will also provide an opportunity for all of last year's graduates to be recognised. We have a special guest speaker Liam Malone - gold medal paralympian known as the blade runner, now turned comedian. Liam is an entertaining speaker with an inspirational story to tell.
Details of the two events are as follows:
Thursday 18 March
Alexandra Park, Greenlane Road
From 4.00 pm
Thursday 25 March
Rydges Hotel, Latimer Square
From 4.30 pm
We will also announce finalists for Apprentice of the Year, Training Company, Trainer and Diploma Student.
Everyone is welcome to come along and show your support to the trainees and to hear Liam speak, even if you don't have anyone graduating. You can download a registration form here.
Holidays Act Taskforce
The Government giveth (Resurgence Support Payment) and the Government taketh away.
This morning Minister Wood released details of the proposed changes to the Holidays Act as a result of 22 recommendations put forward by the Holidays Act Taskforce, a project initiated jointly by BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions.
The changes will introduce more transparency and clarity around calculating payments for leave, but will also change/increase access to some leave entitlements including:
- From their first day of employment eligible employees will be entitled to bereavement leave and family violence leave.
- Bereavement leave will be expanded to cover more family members, including cultural family groups and modern family structures.
- One day's sick leave to be available from the first day at work with an additional day per month until the full entitlement is reached (currently 5 days but there is a Bill before Parliament at the moment to increase this to 10 days).
- Changes/clarity to Pay As You Go holiday pay eligibility
- Compulsory provision of payslips for each pay period showing outstanding leave entitlements.
- Removal of the parental leave override so employees returning from parental leave will be paid leave at the full rate.
Key comparisons between the current Act and the proposed changes can be downloaded here.
Officials will now begin the policy design work and legislation is expected in Parliament early in 2022. We will monitor progress and keep you informed.
Keeping Visitors Safe
Following the death of a visitor at Vehicle Inspection NZ in Hamilton, Worksafe have reiterated the importance of keeping visitors to your site safe, particularly where there is movement of machinery/vehicles.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that while VINZ had some policies in place around the interactions of customers or visitors to the site, they were not actively implementing or enforcing the requirements on a daily basis.
The business was fined $225,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $278,885, reinforcing the increased level of fines that are now being issued in the Courts under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Worksafe have now issued some good practice guidelines for managing worksite traffic for you to reiew against your current practices. You can download a copy of these here.