The changing face of our workplace as economic, cultural and political influences shape our working future.

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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Latest NZ work accident statistics released

Nearly 200,000 claims for work-related injuries were made to ACC last year, new figures reveal. Statistics New Zealand figures show that in 2012, 180,000 claims were made for a work-related injury to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). The provisional figures show the overall rate of injury claims was 93 claims for every 1000 full-time equivalent employees. Males made 73 per cent of all claims for work-related injuries last year and since 2002, have consistently accounted for about three-quarters of all [...]

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Drone use in business on the rise

Australia may soon be the first country in the world to see commercial courier deliveries by drone, if a launch by a textbook rental service and an Australian tech start-up goes according to plan. From March next year and pending regulatory approval, students will be able to order books from Zookal via an Android smartphone app and have one of six Flirtey drones deliver them to their door in Sydney. As the drone arrives, students will be able to track [...]

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Management pay rises outpace workers

The gap between the pay of top chief executives and the staff they manage appears to be growing. In the latest Fairfax annual survey of pay rates at listed companies, the average pay of CEOs in 2012 was 26.4 times that of the average employee in the same companies. That's up from a multiple of 22.5 times in 2011. The survey covered 39 companies on the NZX50, of which 23 had consistent data available for the last three years. Investment [...]

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Hackers target smart phones

Smartphones have become the number one target for hackers trying to cheat New Zealanders, says a New Zealand academic who has been studying global trends. University of Auckland Computer Science lecturer Dr Giovanni Russello will this week share his research that reveals how stealing personal information, hacking into bank accounts and secretly sending SMS and emails from vulnerable Android-operated smartphones has overtaken computer hacking as the number one digital security threat. "Users will not even be aware of those attacks happening," [...]

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Shortage of jobs for primary school teachers

Rebecca Young - looking for work along with hundreds of others.Hundreds of teachers are out of work as graduates fight for vacancies which can attract as many as 100 applications each. A new Ministry of Education report on teacher supply shows jobs remain hard to come by. Aucklander Rebecca Young, 40, has been looking throughout the country for a primary school job since graduating in May last year. At least 40 of her graduating class were in the same position, [...]

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Unions battle employment law changes

Simon Bridges not looking too petrified that the Unions are gunning for him.Unions are united in their opposition to proposed employment law changes, saying they will affect not only workers but their children and the healthcare system. Submissions to a parliamentary select committee on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill entered their second week yesterday. The changes will allow employers to opt out of collective bargaining if negotiations stall and withdraw from multi-employer collective agreements. They will also remove the rule that [...]

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Employment Court finds ‘Systematic bias against women’

The Employment Court has come down on the side of some of the most poorly paid women in the workforce in a landmark test case ruling. The Employment Court has also accused female-dominated industries, such as aged care, of perpetuating a systemic bias against women by undervaluing work that has traditionally been done by women. In its decision released late last week, the court found employers in female-dominated industries can no longer argue that because their few male workers are [...]

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Small Medium Enterprises hold off on hiring new staff

The increasing pace of recovery and strong business confidence is not likely to translate into a significant number of new jobs in the SME sector this year, a new study shows. But more businesses are planning to keep the staff they've got. The proportion of small-to-medium enterprise (SME) employers intending to take on new staff in the year to February 2014 is just 8 per cent, according to an analysis of employment intentions by business services firm MYOB. A recent ANZ [...]

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