All aspects of employment issues including performance management, disciplinary issues and performance reviews.

Port Health and Safety in NZ

Port operations provides one of the most challenging and complex work environments from a health and safety perspective in New Zealand. A lot of people working for different organisations, using large machinery and vehicles, with tight deadlines are working fast and hard in a confined geographical footprint. The addition of water and weather just adds to the degree of risk  faced by those with the task of turning productivity into profit. Despite a huge amount of effort going into [...]

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Time to axe performance reviews?

Workplace staff performance reviews have become a pillar of the vast swathe of administrative tangle otherwise known as 'best practice'. Like many good ideas they started off with the best of intentions but have morphed into something that is often counter- productive in many workplaces. Many workers are now faced with an annual ritual that management struggle to engage with. If  it wasn't for human resources chasing everyone up then it might drift into oblivion. Speaking of HR - were they [...]

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Fatal pipeline blast – company fined

Philomen Gulland - a life lost in an unnecessary tragedy. A piping firm has been fined over a fatal pipeline explosion in Onehunga, Auckland. The June 2011 blast killed one worker and left another a double amputee. Canadian Pacific Ltd was today sentenced to pay $55,250 after being found guilty of failing to take all practicable steps to protect employees and failing to take all practicable steps to protect others. Mother-of-two Philomen Gulland lost her life in the explosion. Gulland was working [...]

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Inequality drives many to quit New Zealand

Emigration is driven not only by opportunities, but also by inequalities. The OECD has issued alarming advice for governments to take "urgent action to tackle rising inequality and social divisions". New Zealand has left these issues unaddressed for too long, and we need to acknowledge it is one of the reasons why our people keep leaving. Emigration has been worryingly high for decades. It makes headlines when it spikes, but "emigration is a pattern, not a crisis", as demographer Graeme [...]

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Open Season on Open Plan Offices

Chairs at ASB's new building in Auckland. They are still going to look great in 10 years time :)The vast majority of the worlds office workers are victims of the open plan office concept. According to those that support an open plan-et they increase productivity and raise staff morale. Staff thrive in this highly collaborative environment as they happily go about their business. In recent years this office based utopia has gone to a whole new level with the [...]

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Port worker injured by falling container

A Lyttelton Port Company worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said the injured driver had pulled a stack of seven shipping containers down, with one crushing the cab of his forklift. "You could certainly hear when that container came down. The noise is what got our attention." The driver, aged in his 20s, managed to get out the cab by himself and was coherent when emergency services arrived. He was "lucky to be alive", the worker said. He had been with the [...]

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Younger managers shafted in salary stakes

Why am I paid so much less than my predecessor? This question will be asked many more times in the next few years as Australian business engages in an aggressive round of white-collar job deflation that does not even register a blip in wages statistics. You know what I mean: the company replaces an old manager on $150,000 with a hungry young one on $75,000. It’s the same job, workload and responsibility, and, if anything, the twenty-something is more motivated, [...]

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Money laundering scams target NZ small businesses

New Zealand small business owners are being warned to watch out for overseas money laundering scams. The latest scam to target honest Kiwis has seen businesses contacted by a fake overseas customer asking to purchase products. However, they pay over the stated amount, and then ask for the excess to be sent to an overseas bank account. Police investigations have shown the original payment was obtained fraudulently through phishing scams, the 'customer' is never heard from again and does not [...]

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Death by caffeine – how much is too much?

Sadly, tragic news has emerged that a man in Britain recently died from caffeine overdose. John Jackson was 40 years old. What makes this unfortunate death worrying is that it was due to consumption of caffeine-laced mints. Misfortune can strike us in many ways, but we generally don't expect a tin of sweeties to be our downfall. I've written about death by caffeine before, but this particular tragedy involves a different aspect of one of the key themes of my [...]

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Axed KFC staff get their jobs back

Following a public outcry KFC has been contacting laid off disabled workers with offers of re-employment. Some workers have leaped at the chance but at least five turned it down. Jared Dixon has autism and was last year forced out after 16 years working part-time at the Greymouth store. The 36-year-old was among 17 workers hit by store restructures which disestablished "limited duties" roles. But Jared's father Robert Dixon says his son has no wish to return. "He was so hurt [...]

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