NZ is all set to undergo a host of employment reforms in 2021 that aim to improve workplace conditions for employees in terms of security, safety, and leave and accentuate their employment rights and accredit them with deserving pay.
Students are encouraged to actively participate in employment opportunities as their creative bent can prove beneficial for businesses. With these new legislations and qualified employees, New Zealanders' employment problems can be seriously tackled, and the economy of the country can be revived.
The Business Sector in the Aftermath of COVID-19
The world is still attempting to recover from the various onslaughts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has adversely affected almost all spheres of our lives- personal, social, financial. Businesses have been on the decline with decreasing capital, multiple companies have been shut down.
Consequently, this has caused thousands of employees to lose their jobs and posed serious employment threats to others. As grim as the picture might appear, the people too have waged a fierce battle, and some countries are increasingly taking positive measures to improve the economy and restore employment opportunities and job security for their citizens.
According to a research study by Boston Consulting Group, New Zealand has ranked in the list of top ten countries with rising employment possibilities and conducive work environment in the aftermath of the pandemic. New Zealand has ranked tenth after Switzerland, Singapore, and France and has been attributed with a rising work pool that can prove beneficial for finding employment under businesses and retails.
In 2020, the Labor Party had declared to implement a massive support package to businesses to hire at least 40,000 New Zealanders in an attempt to revive jobs for those whose employment was impacted by COVID-19. Now with the party's win, such attempts can help businesses stand on their feet and help alleviate the country's population's financial constraints.
The 2021 Employment Legislations holds Multiple New Prospects for Student Employees
With the possibility of promising employment legislation, students are especially invited to work under retailers without suffering any damage on the academic front. Recent employment laws are fit for students to pursue work, especially part-time, which will help them support their studies with a substantial wage as well as help them gain a little extra money on the side.
Moreover, with Easter's approach, it is also bound to add to their experience in the collective job arena and provide a fresh change of ambiance from the pandemic's restrictive conditions. Stay-at-home directives and quarantines had become the new normal. If the students engage in the country's job ecosystem, they can ensure a financial windfall for themselves and their employers.
Let us look at some of the employment reforms that are in store in the coming months of 2021, which will urge any talented student to participate in the market:
The problem of unequal pay is something that still plagues the job and business industry and discriminates against women based on gender. Some companies solely hire male employees for work, cutting out opportunities for women notwithstanding their qualifications.
The other glaring problem is that those female employees are paid less than their male counterparts for the same quality of work done over the same duration of time.
The Pay Equity Amendment Act 2020, which came into force in November 2020, sets out to correct these practices to ensure pay equity not just across gender but as well as ethnicity and age.
This imposes legal accountability on the employer and attempts to settle the historically prevailing pay gap problem while granting employment rights to the employee to lay claims and raise disputes.
The Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Bill, which is expected to pass in the middle of 2021, will extend the time of minimum sick leave entitlement from 5 days to 10 days after an employee's completion of the first six months of employment.
Some employers grant more generous holiday and sick leave provisions in their employment agreements. That being said, the root of many employment disputes is found to be a lack of transparency and written record of employment conditions. The employment rights underway in 2021 stress the importance of maintaining written records that are in mutual knowledge of both employer and employee to ensure that an employee receives their rightful dues in all aspects of employment.
Fair Pay Agreements
Fair Pay Agreements are a set of sector-specific minimum employment standards relating to several aspects such as wages, overtime, etc.
There are crucial provisions set forth to be incorporated in the Fair Pay Agreements this term, increasing the employment security manifold for employees.
These agreements are legislated to cover both employees and dependent contractors. This law gives workers the right to form unions where the unions would represent workers during bargaining with the employer.
This will allow workers to place their demands collectively and ensure that they get the fair price for the service they deliver.
The Case for Dependent Contractors
The term "dependent contractor" refers to any worker who is able to operate their own business and use their means and business equipment but depends heavily on the regulations of one company to whose terms and conditions they are expected to bind.
Dependent contractors face multiple perils in their employment, the primary reason being that their position as an employee remains blurred. They can access a relative amount of freedom from their employer but remain bound to their legislation. This ultimately causes them to lose their employment rights.
In the forthcoming reforms, contractors will be given clear employment rights, including the right to bargain collectively and minimize the extent to which anyone can exercise control over them.
The Increase in Minimum Wage
The increase in minimum wage was implemented on April 1, 2021, from NZD $18.90 per hour in 2020 to NZD $20.00 per hour for adult workers who are not trainees or starting out.
The minimum wage increase for employees who are trainees or are starting out is from NZD $15.12 per hour to NZD $16.00 per hour.
This increase in the minimum wage is the latest breakthrough development that is bound to act as a fresh propelling force for students who can be aptly involved in the employment pool of New Zealand and help boost its economy with creative ideas and practical knowledge.
Suppose you're a prospective employee looking to help retailers this Easter. In that case, you can definitely benefit from the promising increase in the minimum wage and the other fruitful employment conditions that are underway in 2021. Familiarize yourself with the employment reforms to grab the appropriate opportunities as they come your way! You can reach out to our experts to get more essential Employment NZ tips.