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On 30 October 2014 the government passed The Employment Relations Amendment Bill which included a number of changes to employment law in New Zealand. Changes in the bill targeted six main areas: Collective Bargaining, Flexible Working, Continuity of Employment, Good Faith, Rest Breaks and Employment Relations Authority. You can read the MBIE’s summary of changes here…

There were some fairly significant alterations affecting employers and employees but most of these, once they actually take effect, will have very little impact (often none) on the way that our customers will process their payroll. However, there were two small areas that caught our attention that we’d like to note here. 


The first was under Collective Bargaining and is summarised as: “Allowing proportionate pay reductions as a response to partial strikes”. This means that when there is a partial strike (defined by MBIE as: an act of the employees who are a party to the strike in continuing to perform some work for their employer or employers during the strike instead of wholly discontinuing their employment during the strike), the employer may make specified pay deductions from the salary or wages of an employee who is a party to the strike.

This is new – and so, to ensure any employers who find themselves in this situation are able to appropriately process their payroll, we have added a new ‘Irregular Deduction’ entitled ‘Partial Strike’ as a before tax deduction within our list of options. Most of our customers will probably never use it, but hey – we like to ensure you’re prepared for anything.

 

The second area was under Continuity of Employment and boils down to: “The problems of transferring employees’ entitlements and information to a new employer – and requiring that the old employer give the new employer detailed information on each employee that is transferring.”

With Crystal Payroll this is very straight-forward. We make it easy to transfer employees’ personal data and leave balances from a closing account (when the old business winds-up) into a new account (for the new company). And all of the historic payroll activity for all the old company’s employees will remain available via the old company’s payroll account as we always retain the records and provide ongoing access on a read-only basis for as long as legislation requires (currently 7 years). So nobody operating a Crystal Payroll account ever has to worry about this data getting lost or becoming inaccessible after transition.