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You could be selling the most innovative product on the market, using the latest systems and the best marketing campaign in town, but if you don't have good people - good luck!

People are everything in business. That's why it's so important to know your employer responsibilities and how to manage the employment process to ensure high productivity, a solid reputation, and attract and retain staff that love their work.

In this issue, find out what you need to do regarding domestic violence leave, payday filing and minimum wage rates (all coming into effect on 1 April), as well as HR tips to keep you and your staff smiling.


The new Domestic Violence – Victims' Protection Bill

Here's what it means for you ...

Imagine trying to work while juggling court, counselling, and your family's needs following a domestic violence incident. This is the situation for thousands of Kiwis, but it's set to improve with the new Domestic Violence - Victims' Protection Bill coming into effect on 1 April. The law enables people affected by family violence to apply for specific leave and flexible working arrangements to help them keep their jobs during a challenging time.

What does this mean for you?

Local companies such as Countdown, The Warehouse and ANZ already offer domestic violence leave - and it's time for the rest of the country to follow suit. As an employer, you need to be aware of what leave and flexible working arrangements victims of domestic abuse are entitled to, what you have to do, and how to support your staff.

10 days' domestic violence leave

Employees will be able to apply for up to 10 days' domestic violence leave per year to deal with the effects of domestic violence, such as court appearances, doctor visits and looking after children.

 Employees need six months' continuous employment to be entitled to this leave and entitlement does not accrue from year to year.

 Staff don't need to provide proof they have been affected by domestic violence, but employers can ask for proof before agreeing to the request.

 If an employee fails, without reasonable excuse, to provide proof, their employer isn't required to pay for any domestic violence leave.

More flexibility at work

To support staff affected by family violence, you are required to provide flexible working conditions, such as changes to:

 The location of their workplace

 Their duties at work

 The extent of contact details the employee must provide to their employer

 Any other term of employment that needs variation to enable the employee to deal with the effects of domestic violence.

Stay open-minded and make a plan

Now's the time to think about how you'll approach requests for domestic violence leave. It's a good idea to put together a practical plan to ensure you respect and protect your staff members' privacy throughout the process. Keep in mind you could get requests for leave for a range of reasons including physical, sexual and psychological abuse, harassment, threats, intimidation and financial abuse. If you need help putting together a plan, please contact us.


HIRING?

Look for traits,

not just talent

Soft skills are the personal qualities that make people easy to work with, and these skills are key to business success.

Here are six important soft skills and the best open-ended interview questions you can ask to help find out whether a candidate is right for your business.


Gear up for

payday filing

Hundreds of Kiwi business owners are enjoying the benefits of payday filing - are you? If not, you'll need to be by 1 April when payday filing becomes compulsory. Now is the time to work out how you're going to integrate it into your payroll processes and save time on your tax obligations.

Payday filing means you need to:

 File employment information every payday instead of an Employer monthly schedule (IR348).

 Provide new and departing employees' address information, as well as their date of birth - if they have provided it to you.

 File electronically (from payday compatible software or through myIR) if your annual PAYE/ESCT is $50,000 or more.

Remember, the due date for payment remains the same at the 20th of the month (or 5th and 20th of the month for twice-monthly filers).

How do I payday file?

There are three ways to file electronically - direct from payroll software, file upload from myIR or onscreen via myIR. You can apply for an exemption from electronic filing from 1 April 2019 if your annual PAYE deductions are under $50,000.

How do I shift over to payday filing?

  1. Review your payroll processes and plan and schedule when to shift.

  2. Ask your software provider when they'll have payday filing compatible software (Xero and MYOB already do).

  3. If you're using myIR to file, let the IRD know you're switching to payday filing in myIR.

Need to know how payday filing works for schedular payments, shadow payrolls, employee share schemes and holiday pays? Let us know and we'll talk you through it.



Minimum Wage

moves closer to $20

More than 200,000 New Zealanders and their families will benefit from the minimum wage going up to $17.70 an hour on 1 April 2019 - an increase of $1.20.

The starting-out and training minimum wage rates will increase from $13.20 to $14.16 per hour (remaining at 80% of the adult minimum wage).

The Government has set indicative rates of $18.90 from 1 April 2020 and $20 from 1 April 2021.

Don't forget to review your employee wage rates before the end of March to ensure you comply come 1 April.


Contact Us

If you wish to discuss any of the matters raised in this issue of Dollars and Sense, please contact our office - a member of our friendly team will be happy to assist.


Kind Regards

The team
Ean Brown Partners Limited


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Disclaimer

The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should be used as a guide only.
A senior representative of Ean Brown Partners Ltd should be consulted for specific advice before any action is taken.


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