Employers frustrated by workplace relations system

A new report reveals that employers are just as concerned about New Zealand's 'complex and confusing  workplace relations system' as employees.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has released a report revealing that employees are increasingly reporting breaches of their employment rights. The biggest complaint was the lack of employment agreements, an issue of equal concern for employers according to leading workplace specialists, Employsure.

Having witnessed many small and medium sized businesses struggle with employment agreements, Employsure provide SMEs with advice on complicated workplace conditions.

Employsure managing director Jen Tweed said: “it’s not just employees with concerns, equally, we’re hearing the same from employers and business owners. 

"We know employers don’t set out to breach employment rights or to fail to comply with their obligations. Rather, they tell us how complex and confusing the workplace relations system can be,” says Tweed.

The relationship between employers and employees depends on a number of factors, not only employment agreements, and to categorise employers as wilfully breaking the law is a long bow to draw, she adds. 

"What employers tell us is, given the high frequency of change within the numerous pieces of legislation that feed into the workplace relations framework, it is a minefield for small businesses to understand let alone master.  

"We agree that employment agreements are a fundamental starting point in every employment relationship but support for business is required beyond this to get them right.”

“We assist over 1,500 small businesses implement well drafted employment agreements which clearly outline the rights and obligations of each party, therefore cementing understanding and alleviating confusion.

"It’s incredibly important for employers to continually seek the right advice to ensure compliance. Many businesses find themselves facing claims and potential fines for simply not being aware of their employment related requirements."

Tweed agrees with the CAB recommendations for a more integrated cross-government approach.
"More education and support is needed to address issues for employers and employees.”

Photo: Jen Tweed.