A brief outline of common HR issues

Aim: To outline basic issues a small business should consider when employing and managing people at work

Outcome: Completion of this module will help those who employ and manage people, to:

  • Develop a sound recruitment process;
  • Determine what kind of employment agreement to use and when;
  • Comply with legal requirements for health and safety at work
  • Implement effective performance management and disciplinary process; and
  • Understand the application of Privacy Act 1993 to employment matters.

Abstract: Human resources is all about people. New Zealand employment law is very prescriptive in what employers can and cannot do. Non-compliance can be costly, for example an employer can be fined up to $20,000 for not providing an employment agreement. Personal grievances cost, not only if you lose a case and have to pay the employee, but there is also the cost of defending any claims against you. In addition, there are the time and emotional costs involved which cannot be recouped.

Ignorance is no defence – not knowing what your legal obligations are won’t stop a prosecution if there is an injury under the health and safety laws, nor will ignorance be a defence against a personal grievance.

This module covers, in a simple and practical way, the main areas of the employment process - from recruitment to employment agreements, induction, performance management and feedback, training, engagement and exiting. All these areas require specific techniques in order to get it right.