Business Banking to Broker

Anna McClure was our Business Banking Manager for a number of years when she worked at the ANZ Bank. We had a great relationship with her and were sad to see her leave the bank however we are delighted she is now working for a local business finding solutions for both personal and business finance.

If you need a mortgage to buy a new home or want to finance business growth opportunities then we have no hesitation in recommending you talk to Anna about your finance needs.

Here is some more about who she is and what she does:

Anna McClure has recently joined Assured Ltd after almost a decade in banking and finance and will be based in Montgomery Square, central Nelson providing financial advice and solutions under the Loan Market and Assured brands.

Looking for flexibility and a work life balance that suits her love of the outdoors and what the Nelson Tasman region has to offer has been a big part of this decision as well as being able to use all the skills and knowledge she has to help her customers grow their wealth.

Having a background in business and commercial banking Anna has a good grasp on business lending requirements and is able to translate a set of financial accounts to get the best outcomes for her customers.

She guarantees service with a smile and is happy to meet with her customers at their homes or work places at a convenient time for them. Anna has access to the major banks and also the ability to offer other solutions while negotiating the best finance package on her customers’ behalf.

If you’d like to contact Anna for a free appointment you can call her on 0800 500 223, 021 755 611 or email her at anna@assuredgroup.co.nz

Employer Win – Restructuring Valid

Employment news kindly provided by Chapman ER

A top coach made redundant from Swimming New Zealand after a poor performance at the Commonwealth Games has lost his claim of unjustifiable dismissal.

Funding of Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance programme is dependent on success measured by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The most transparent of those measures is podium success at pinnacle events around the world by the New Zealand swimming team. If the high performance programme is unsuccessful then funding is reduced and allocated to other more successful sports.

The national sports body restructured its high performance programme following poor performance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In the lead-up to the Games, swimmers targeted for success at Glasgow were achieving slower times than previous personal bests.

David Lyles was employed as National High Performance Centre coach (Auckland) in 2013 however was made redundant after a comprehensive review of the New Zealand team’s poor performance.

The review looked at coaching structures and this led to the creation of new positions including a new national head coach role. This new position called for world class coaching capability to technically lead the national programme and high performance culture.

After consultation the restructure went ahead, and Mr Lyles unsuccessfully applied for the National Head Coach role.

Mr Lyles subsequently made a claim to the Authority that his dismissal was flawed, and that the newly created role of national head coach was effectively the same as his existing role.

However, ERA member Eleanor Robinson found the national head coach position was insufficiently similar for him to be automatically redeployed to it.

Legislation prohibits dealing with poor performance through restructuring and Robinson said there was no dispute over Lyles’ performance in his former role. Although the poor results of the high performance programme were the key trigger for the restructure Lyles himself did not argue the reason for the restructure. Mr Lyles agreed with the recommendation in a 2014 review to consolidate the two High Performance Centre Coach roles and create a new National Head Coach role – making Mr Lyles’s position redundant.

The ERA found the decision to disestablish Mr Lyles’ position was a genuine business decision.

Robinson found Swimming New Zealand provided him with all information necessary to provide feedback, and that Lyles had sufficient opportunity to comment on it before a decision was made.

The redundancy procedure, including the selection process for the new role, was found to be conducted fairly. Mr Lyles’ claims were dismissed.

This case highlights the benefits of taking the time to prepare well, of seeking advice on your intended process and of following the provisions of your Employment Agreements and policies. These measures will significantly reduce risks associated with handling the relatively sensitive situation of restructuring and redundancies.

Hopgood’s awarded region’s first Chef’s Hat Award

Congratulatoins to our client, Hopgood’s Restaurant.

It has been a great week for Kevin and Jane, their head chef Aaron  and their staff. Not only were they named as runner up for the Best Regional Restaurant Award at this year’s Cuisine restaurant Awards but they were awarded the region’s first Chef’s Hat, the New Zealand equivalent of a Michelin Star in Europe and America.

They have also been listed in sixth place on the 2014 Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Restaurants in the South Pacific, with the French Cafe in Auckland and Logan-Brown in Wellington being the only other New Zealand eateries making the cut.

What an outstanding effort from this fantastic Nelson restaurant business.

Rebecca Coram 2011 - Savage and Savage

Congratulations

Congratulations to Rebecca Coram, one of our Senior Accountants, on attaining full membership to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.  Rebecca has worked very hard to achieve this goal and we are all very proud of her.

 

$168k for Privacy Breach

From Chapman Employment Relations latest newsletter:

The Human Rights Tribunal’s decision that NZCU Bayside breached the privacy of their previous employee Karen Hammond was not a surprise. The level of compensation however was staggering. The awarding of $168k compensation, surpassed the previous highest award by an astonishing $128k.

The company admitted to the breach, but their actions were extraordinary. Hammond had posted on her Facebook page a photo of a cake she had baked, iced with the words ‘NZCU F*** YOU’. Only people she had accepted as ‘Facebook friends’ could access the page. NZCU Bayside obtained through coercion, a screen shot of the photo and emailed it to four local recruitment agencies, along with contemporaneous phone calls warning against employing Hammond.

Additionally, the Chief Executive sent an email to staff disclosing information about Hammond. The company also placed severe pressure on Hammond’s new employer to terminate her employment, including stating that continuing to employ her would result in significant financial loss.

Hammond resigned from her new job on the basis it had become untenable for the company to continue with her there. She remained unemployed for 10 months until obtaining a position outside her chosen sector, and in a position considerably below her skill level. Hammond felt unable to apply for any positions that used recruitment agencies for fear of what they would say to prospective employers.

The tribunal determined the company was less than honest in their evidence. The evidence of two of their key witnesses was described as being defensive and in disarray, and the consequences of the breach downplayed by the company. Members of the management team also contradicted each other. In contrast the tribunal found Hammond and her witnesses to ‘be sincere and genuine individuals and their evidence unrehearsed, direct and frank.’ Although the Chief Executive did provide an apology, the tribunal said the apology was ‘delivered without any detectable note of sincerity.’

All of these factors were taken into account when the tribunal considered remedies. The award was made up of $38,350 in lost income, just over $15,500 for legal expenses, $16,177 for the difference in wages from the job she was forced to resign from and her new job, and $98,000 damages for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings. The tribunal described the breach as at the serious end of the spectrum, with the company’s responses at the hearing as contributing, and hence justifying the large damages award.

A New Zealand Collectible Art Show – The Framing Rooms: June 2015

The Framing Rooms are looking for expressions of interest in their second Collectible Art Sale.  It will feature New Zealand Artists and include traditional and contemporary work.  Their aim is to gather together a dynamic mix of artworks that people find exciting and that they would love to own.  They are able to exhibit up to 40 artworks at a time.

What is considered collectible?

Collectibility concerns factors such as the status of the artist, when in the artist’s career the artwork was produced, the condition the work is in, provenance and current trends.

Valuations will be very helpful in knowing what price a work should sell for. There is the possibility that Neil Roberts (experienced Fine Art Valuer based in Christchurch) can come to Nelson and offer this if a group of people are interested.

How The Collectable Art Sale will work

  • A catalogue will be available on our website and the gallery will show the artwork for 2 weeks.
  • Publicity will be organised including email marketing
  • There will be a preview day and an opening
  • The artworks will be sold on a fixed price basis.  This will be agreed on between the owner and The Framing Rooms.
  • When an artwork is sold and paid for it can be taken from the wall.
  • The Framing Rooms takes a 20% commission on sales and payment is made the week after the sale is over.
  • The owners of the artworks can be anonymous

Insurance : The Framing Rooms does have insurance but any artwork priced at over $1000 must have a valuation to be covered by our policy.

Their first Art Sale for Ann and John Hercus was very successful and really enjoyed by visitors to the gallery.  They are looking forward to working with other Nelson art lovers on this second event.

If you would like to be involved please email Gill Starling at info@theframingrooms.co.nz or call on 548 3991 or call into visit the gallery at 96 Collingwood Street (opposite The Free House).

Child Support Changes

Child support laws will change from 1 April 2015 and if you’re paying or receiving child support you should have received your new assessment or entitlement by now.

The formula that IRD uses to calculate child support now takes into account both parents income which in theory is a good thing, however the way it is calculated and apportioned has meant many child support assessments come with an unexpected significant increase.

The formula now takes into account shared care when it is 28% (102 nights a year) and over however you must provide a minimum of 35% (128 nights a year) care to receive child support payments.

The living allowance has also changed and from 1 April 2015 no longer include an amount for new partners. However, if others do rely on your financial support, for example a new partner and their children,  you can apply to IRD to have your living allowance reviewed.

It is worth checking that the income  and shared care IRD has based your assessment on is correct. If your income has dropped by more than 15% from the amount you were assessed on, you can now estimate your income and IRD will reassess your payments.

If your child support changes from 1 April 2015 it may also affect your Working for Families entitlement.

To sum it up the results are quite different from how IRD portrayed it, and whilst we can’t change the formula we recommend you check that the information included in your assessment is correct.

Chapman ER Top Picks for Must Have Interview Questions

Targeted interview questions tell you about the person behind the CV. They should help reveal the candidates true personality, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills and abilities.

You should always include questions that are specific to the position, however below are 11 suggestions that can be used across a variety of industries and position types. 

1. From what you know so far of the role and our company, tell me how you feel you’d make a contribution.

This question will help you find out how much the candidate has prepared for the interview and how interested they really are. Candidates who are genuinely interested will take this opportunity to shine and demonstrate that they have done their homework. Ill prepared and possibly less interested candidates will stumble and try to put some generic response together.

2. If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?

While no one likes to dwell on past regrets, this can be a good question to ask.
Asking a candidate to explain the major decisions they have made, highlighting the positive and negative, reveals the person’s ability to make calculated decisions based on past professional and personal experiences.
It also lets candidates share their vision for the future and their ambitions.

3. If I was to speak to your referee (last supervisor/manager) and ask which area of your work needs the most improvement, what will I learn?

The candidate will feel compelled to answer this one honestly as they know they are likely to get caught out at reference check stage. It is the same as asking ‘what is your biggest weakness,’ but phrased in an unexpected way.

4. Describe the best boss you have ever reported to.

Hopefully their answers will help paint a picture of their past relationships. It highlights the work types and personalities that they best fit in with. You should also be able to gain greater insights into the candidate’s communication skills, work style and potential cultural fit. Follow up with questions like “what made the relationship click.”

5. What type of management style do you prefer?

This can be as a follow up question to the one above. Do they prefer autonomy, handholding, or are they inspired by a mutual drive to achieve goals?

6. Tell me about what motivates you. 

Ask question 6 & 7 in sequence to better understand the candidate’s motivations. If their answer to 6 reflects your company vision and culture, then you could have a winner.

7. What frustrates you?

Does the candidate answer by discussing minor irritations and nit picking situations – or ways that they will their work ethic and attitude fit in your work environment?

8. Tell me about the toughest work situation you ever been in.

This will give you an insight into how the person reacts to work pressures and their problem solving skills. Follow their answer through so that they explain their involvement and how they came to a positive outcome.

9. Tell me about your experience in a similar role to this one.

This is your opportunity to not only find out whether the candidate has the skills and experience you need, but to openly discuss your expectations of the role. Make sure you probe with further questions if the candidate is not clear about their past experience.

10. What would have to happen or not happen for you to realise you had made a mistake in taking this job if it was offered to you? 

This will help you see what their expectations of the role and your company are.

11. Do you have any health issues we should be aware of where you need assistance to help you perform to your best?

Every applicant should be asked this question.

Employment Law Changes

Significant changes took place to employment law in New Zealand on the 6th March 2015 when the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 will come into effect. Here is a brief summary of the main changes:

  • Flexible work: the right to request flexible working arrangements will be extended to all employees and it will be easier to request by removing some limits and requirements.
  • Rest and meal breaks: these changes recognise the need for breaks to be practical for each workplace and the new provisions provide more flexibility. Employers and employees can’t contract out of the right to rest and meal breaks. An employee has to get a break or a compensatory measure.
  • Continuity of employment (for specified employees): the changes are mostly in regards to transferring employees’ entitlement and information to a new employer.
  • Good faith: this change amends the good faith provisions and clarifies what information employees are entitled to during restructures or other situations where their continued employment is at risk. An employer must give the effected employee relevant confidential information about themselves, but not about another employee (if the information legally must stay confidential, or there is good reason to keep the information confidential) .
  • Collective bargaining: key changes are that the parties are no longer required to reach a collective agreement, it removes the 30-day rule that gives non-union members who are new employees the terms and conditions from the collective agreement, allows a proportionate pay reduction as a response to partial strikes, advance written notice will be required for any proposed strikes and lockouts in all sectors
  • Employment Relations Authority: changes introduce requirements for when and how the Authority must give determinations.

Further information is available from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

IRD System Changes

Due to planned system changes all IRD services will be unavailable from 6 am Saturday 15 November to 6 pm Sunday 16 November. This includes myIR, B2B and the contact centres.