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How to Pay Employees for Upcoming Public Holidays

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Monday this year with Boxing Day and the Day after New Year’s falling on a Tuesday. Labour Day is always on a Monday and falls on 23 October this year.

If you are unsure how your employees should be paid over these statutory holidays, first refer to their individual employment agreement to check that it doesn’t provide for any terms in addition to the statutory minimum requirements. Then establish which of those stat days would normally be a working day for them.

When a public holiday falls on a day that your employee would usually work, regardless of how long they’ve been working for you, then they’re entitled to a paid day off.

Employees are only required to work on a public holiday if it’s a condition written into their employment agreement. If they agree to work, you must:

–          pay them at least time and a half and

–          give them an additional paid day off (a day in lieu).

Next the following applies:

When the Public Holiday would normally be a working day for the employee:

If the Public Holiday that falls on the Monday or Tuesday is ordinarily a working day but the employee does not work then they are paid for that Public Holiday the same as for a normal working day i.e. at their relevant daily pay.

If the Public Holiday that falls on the Monday or Tuesday is ordinarily a working day and the employee does work on those days, then they are paid time and a half for the hours they work, and they are also entitled to an alternative day off (lieu day).

When the Public Holiday is not usually a working day:

If the employee does not normally work on the Public Holiday, in this case the Monday or Tuesday, then they do not get paid at all for those days.

If the employee does not normally work on the days the Public Holiday falls but then does work on those days, they are entitled to be paid time and a half for the hours they work, and not entitled to an alternative day off (lieu day)

If you require further information regarding paying employees for Statutory Holidays click here.

 

Steve Coyne – Harbour Light Bistro

Harbour Light Bistro on Wakefield Quay may not be hanging over the water but the views are spectacular from the elevated dining room where diners at every table can be entranced by the environment as well as the wonderful food.

I remember when Buzz Falconer set up the restaurant many years ago and while it has had a few owners since then I think the current owner, Steve Coyne, has taken the restaurant to a whole new level when it comes to quality; from fantastic front-of-house staff to the kitchen team he leads.

Coyne has also catered a charity black tie dinner and auction we helped organise for many years and when he has the opportunity to really express his creativity in that environment he simply excels, he now has a separate catering business that is going from strength-to-strength, especially in the business catering sector.

 

That doesn’t mean his food at the bistro isn’t creative because it is. Coyne brings a huge amount of experience to his business. Born and raised in Paremata just north of Porirua and just south of Plimmerton, before moving to Auckland for his secondary schooling in Auckland, he left school when he was 16 and started washing dishes at a pub called the Shoreline Milford. As Steve says “you always start at the bottom and if that means washing dishes that is what you need to do, you didn’t just walk into a job as a chef straight out of school”.

His formal chef training started in 1988 at Auckland Technical Institute (now AUT) and after two years training he started cooking at the Aotea Centre when it first opened, the head chef was Carl Rayner at the Aotea Centre and the sous chef was Warren Bias who moved on to become the head chef at the Sky City Centre where he has been for about 20 years.

Coyne on the other hand went to Australia for a year and that move became the first of many as he travelled the world, moving from one kitchen to another. After a year in Australia he spent a year in London where he worked at the Regents Park Hilton next to Lord’s Cricket Ground. “That was a really cool place to work, we got to cook for some top international sports people as well as the well-heeled UK cricket supporters who flock to the spiritual home of cricket”.

After London he moved to Zimbabwe where he worked for a year for a catering company in Bulawaow that included functions at some of the mines, all of this by the time he was just 22 years old. “It was a pretty insane time, driving a truck and being handed a gun by your employer when you leave on a job, fellow workers in their 40’s all had military training”.

When things got a bit too unsettled his father lent him some money for an “escape-from-Zimbabwe” airfare home to New Zealand where he had to work to pay him back and save enough for another airfare, this time back to London.

As soon as he landed he phoned his old head chef from the Regents Park Hilton who happened to be working as head chef at the Heathrow Hilton, “he asked me if I needed a job, I said yes and he said when can you start? I told him I would get a cab there as soon as I had cleared Customs, so I had a job within minutes of arriving.”

At the Heathrow Hilton he cooked for many international dignitaries including Mikhail Gorbachov in about 1994 and then it was time to travel again, this time to Germany when he was just 25. He lived and worked in Constanz near the Swiss border for just under two years in a Michelin starred restaurant and that was his first experience of high quality fine dining rather than hotel dining. “It was one of the toughest things I have ever done, I had to learn the language and there were 8-10 chefs for a 40 seat restaurant with about 600 wines on the wine list, perfection was the only quality level that was acceptable.”

After a short stint back in New Zealand, and his introduction to Nelson where he was chef at Lake Rotoroa Lodge, he got his first job working on super yachts. He was based in the Bahamas and Florida for the first year, “we sailed up the eastern sea board of the US to Nov Scotia, through the Panama Canal (3 times now) up the western sea board as far north as Seattle and the last six months was in Tahiti. This was followed by a yacht in France for 2 ½ years.

From Southern France we started in the eastern Mediterranean and went through the Suez Canal down to and around the eastern side of the African continent. “This was a fantastic time, it is a great way to see the world and save money while you do it, not only do you travel but you get to take part in other shore-based trips as well”.

The next yacht was based in the Baltic and “we worked from there for six months visiting St Petersburg, down to Stockholm, Helsinki basically touring around the Baltic. The last boat I was on the owner didn’t like boats but they had one of the busiest programmes of any yacht I have worked on because the owner was forever sending colleagues and friends on trips.”

The last super yacht was based in Alaska and he cooked for then US Vice President Dick Cheney and Neil Armstrong who he talked about quiche with, not once was the moon mentioned.

Then it was back to New Zealand where he set about looking for somewhere to settle down and start restaurant, “I always liked Nelson and it was my first choice. I had been working at a law firm in Wellington that had its own chefs and over several coffees and cheese scones one of the partners helped me by the Harbour Light Restaurant business. Some of the partners in that law firm come to Nelson and often stop in for a chat and dinner.”

When he started in his own business the learning curve became a right angle, very steep. “I had to learn about running a business not just a kitchen, things like managing staff and paying for everything with your own money not someone else’s were all things I had to get my head around”.

Coyne met his partner (Jessica) who was working at the Boatshed across the road and they have two young children. They married in November and even though they are juggling owning a business, working (Jessica still works at The Boatshed) and family isn’t easy he says “I has never been so content. I have earned more money in other things I have done but it is quite satisfying having your own business, starting a family and living in an outstanding region, I just love Nelson and think tourism here is going to really take off in the next few years.”

“With Jetstar and other airlines coming into Nelson, the unsettled situation in other parts of the world, our lowish dollar against the US dollar and the Euro New Zealand and Nelson are looking at the best three or four years it has ever had in the next few years. While it is unfortunate what has happened in Europe it is really going to push things here.”

Coyne says that when it comes to owning a restaurant on the waterfront just having a great view from every table in the room isn’t enough, the food has to be good and the service has to be good. “Nelsonians are quite discerning and it is good to hear feedback from diners that the view isn’t the main reason for coming, some of these people come in three or four times a week. We are always looking to improve”.

For me Harbour Light Bistro is all about fantastic food in a wonderful setting and as well as being a genuinely nice guy Steve Coyne brings huge experience to the kitchen. And that view? Well I think it is the most panoramic view you will ever get from a restaurant dining table in Nelson.

Huge Fines for Categorising Employees Incorrectly as Contractors

The sole director and shareholder of Direct Auto Importers and Cheap Deals on Wheels, Vishaal Sharma, had claimed that his employees were contractors and had denied owing them their minimum entitlements.

Following a Labour Inspectorate investigation however, the Labour Inspectorate disagreed. The failure to categorise his employees correctly resulted in fines of $65,000 to his two businesses.

The ERA found that both Direct Auto Importers and Cheap Deals on Wheels had not only failed to pay minimum wage or correct holiday pay to their employees, but had also failed to provide employee agreements and didn’t keep accurate records of employment.

A Labour Inspectorate manager, Loua Ward, said “An employer cannot avoid their obligations by simply calling their employees ‘contractors’, and any attempts to do so will not be tolerated by the inspectorate. All employees in New Zealand must be provided with written employment agreements and their minimum employment entitlements, such as the minimum wage and holiday pay,” She also added. “If an employer cannot meet these basic obligations, then they should not be an employer.”

Ms Ward also noted that this incident was not the first offence for one of the organisations, Direct Auto Importers. They were taken to the ERA last year by an employee who was able to successfully claim $17,996 in arrears.  She emphasised that as a result of that claim the employer should have known their obligations.

The responsibility lies with employers to provide their employees with all their correct minimum entitlements and ignorance is no excuse.

Direct Auto Importers were penalised to the tune of $50,000 for not paying holiday pay, providing written employment agreements, or keeping wage, time holiday or leave records, and a further $726 in arrears was ordered to be paid to two staff members for holiday pay owed and working on public holidays.

$15,000 was the penalty for Cheap Deals on Wheels for similar breaches and the ERA also set aside an amount of $10,000 in penalties to be arranged for three former employees of the businesses.

This case sets a serious precedent that employers should take note of. If you are in any doubt as to whether your contractors and/or employees are categorised correctly, please contact us for clarification.

This post is supplied by Chapman Employment Relations

Heke Homemade Herbals – Nelson Mail 04.07.17

This is a column written by Neil Hodgson and first published in the Nelson Mail, about one of our clients Emma Heke and her business Heke Homemade Herbals. These herbal teas have become firm favourites in our office and we think you should try them too.

 

I have known Emma Heke for many years, I have always been hugely impressed with the way she has approached her business ventures and she brings the same enthusiasm and attention to detail to her latest venture, Heke Homemade Herbals. 

 

Heke Homemade Herbals produces a range of outstanding herbal teas with the vast majority made using herbs and flowers she grows at home. The only ingredients she buys are those that don’t grow in New Zealand and come from an organic supplier. 

 

While the teas are fantastic much of the business success can be put down to her going about things the right way; firstly, she has a business she is passionate about and she has the background and business skills to turn that passion into a great business. 

 

Emma’s journey started as an artist with a fine art degree from Dunedin Art School after which she set up her first business, a papier maché venture. People would commission all sorts of custom-made sculptures from lemon trees to mini red Cadillacs! 

 

“I got to make a huge fairyland grotto to go under the staircase in a museum, it was a huge amount of fun and I loved seeing the kid’s reactions.”  

 

After running her small business in Dunedin for two years she moved to Sydney where she worked in a professional photographic lab for the next two years, “I was already really interested in photography and had been teaching myself but learned heaps working in the professional lab 

 

After Sydney it was off to England, where she was born before her family emigrated to New Zealand when she was seven. “For two years I couldn’t get any type of work that I wanted so ended up working in a bar and a boarding school for a pittance, I realised I didn’t want to live on minimum wages and had to do something with my skills. I just wasn’t selfish enough to give up everything and live life just for me as an artist.” 

 

So Heke returned to New Zealand and spent a year training to be a high school art and photography teacher before she worked at Whangarei Girls High School for 12 years, “I loved it, I ended up being the Check Moderator for NCEA levels 1-3 Art for New Zealand and was probably destined for Wellington and well paid jobs but had my son and everything changed” 

 

“Connor was very ill as a baby he was having allergic reactions to many things so while I tried to go back to teaching I couldn’t do both and gave up teaching. We moved to Nelson knowing it would be a good, safe place to bring up a young boy. It’s been fantastic for both of us” 

 

Heke says she had to reinvent her career, she wanted to have her independence and make her own way in life. When Connor was four she had great ideas for films and saw there was a gap in the market for kids films that weren’t all cutesy, something more with an education focus. 

 

“I also realised if I was going to have a successful business I had to get some business skills too so enrolled in a course at Barbican Training called Small Business Management, one night a week for a year and lots of homework but it changed my life. 

 

“I developed the confidence and skills to know I could succeed. During the course you work on your own business, all facets from business planning to financial planning and marketing, as the course progressed I could see the idea I had could work.” 

 

She had never picked up a film camera until she did the full time six-month TV production course at NMIT while completing the Barbican course.  

 

“My mum, Dawn, came down from Thames and she looked after Connor and took him to kindy while I was at tech, if she hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have been able to do many of the things I have.” 

 

Loaded with business skills and video training Heke created her first film Ours, NZ Nature for Children, “ It was huge for me, it sold really well and Air NZ picked it up for their inflight entertainment, many early childhood centres bought it and I won a Green Ribbon Award for it.” She then made a second DVD called Our Creative Children about art and creativity using nature as the inspiration. The third film, Our Green Roadie involved a tour around NZ to showcase eco-entrepreneurs and all the films have been available as DVDs until recently when Emma made the switch to fully digital downloads. 

 

This suits the modern market and fits really well with her marketing strategy that has been highly focused on social media, the videos can be sourced at www.facebook.com/redhekeproductions  

 

So how did she get into producing herbal teas? “After Connor and I had been travelling around the country I was keen to do something based in Nelson and wanted to make the space we had really productive. If I could create a business out of a steep south facing section it would also help other people, I wanted to break some myths people have about not being able to do a lot with small, colder south facing plots of land and wanted to create something viable . 

 

“Because I love herbal teas it was an obvious option for me to choose, something I could do at home without needing a huge amount of land but the micro climate of the garden meant I needed to use sturdy plants that would withstand the frosts, it was difficult to buy great organic teas that were affordable, I really wanted to showcase organic produce.” 

 

She started giving the teas to friends and family first and they kept asking for more, “I realised I had a potential business and created a Facebook page to see if there was a demand beyond friends and family, I harvested my herbs, dried them, made my four favourite blends and sold out in two days, two weeks later I harvested that last of my herbs and they sold out in two days as well. 

 

“We dug up all the lawns, planted lots of herbs and haven’t looked back.” 

 

Heke Homemade Herbals now has a range of 32 blends, “I have tried to keep a deliberately low profile so I can grow the business in a controlled way and manage the growth but people have approached me wanting to stock the teas, Morri Street Café have two teas on their winter menu, that have really taken off.” 

 

McCashins successfully used one of her herbal tea in a recent competition, “they used my white tea that I grow, called it Heke Herbal Tea IPA, took it to Auckland and it went down very well so they are keen to experiment further.”  

 

Heke sells her herbal teas at the Nelson Market on Saturdays and a lot of domestic travellers who buy at the market now order online so she has an ever-expanding mail order client base. 

 

She also runs children’s art classes at home and always has pots of herbal tea for them, “kids really get in to it, their favourite is peppermint, they go in to the garden and we make a big pot of it.” 

 

It is time you discovered Heke Homemade Herbals too, they are wonderful teas packed with flavour and made right here in Nelson and can be contacted through www.facebook.com/HekeHomemadeHerbals . 

 

Test Your Knowledge – The Privacy Act 1993

The purpose of the Privacy Act 1993 is to promote and protect individual privacy – in particular to establish principles on: collection, use, and disclosure of information relating to individuals and access by individuals to information held about them.

Below are some common misconceptions and facts about your Privacy, rights and requirements courtesy of the Privacy Commissioner NZ.

Q 1. True or False: if your profile on a social network is set so that only your friends can see it, your profile is completely private.

Click here to find the answer

Q 2. True or False: You always have control over the pictures you post online.

Click here to find the answer

Q 3. The Privacy Act protects your personal information. Personal information consists of:

A. Your name, age, weight, height, home address and phone number.

B. Your blood type, DNA code, fingerprints and medical records.

C. Your education, purchases and spending habits.

D. All of the above.

Click here to find the answer

Q 4. It’s really easy to share pictures and stories with your friends on social networking sites. When you’re posting items you should:

A. Post everything that you think is funny and interesting – your friends will love these things!

B. Don’t post anything – it’s a creepy world out there.

C. Think first. Would you be comfortable if your parents, teachers or bosses saw what you are posting?

Click here to find the answer

Q 5. When you’re surfing online, websites can collect this information about you:

A. My personal preferences.

B. My approximate location.

C. The software I’m using.

D. All of the above.

Click here to find the answer

Q 6. You’re buying an item of clothing at the mall. As you’re about to pay for them, the shop assistant asks for your address and phone number. You:

A. Give it to him. The shop probably needs it in case I want to return the jeans.

B. Ask why he needs it. Once you know what the shop plans to do with your information, you can decide whether to hand it over.

C. Refuse. It’s none of their business!

Click here to find the answser

Q 7. Under the law, you have a right to complain if:

A. You think your personal information was improperly collected, used or disclosed?

B. You run into difficulties trying to get your personal information from an organisation, or to get your personal information corrected when it’s wrong?

C. All of the above.

Click here to find the answer

Q 8. Can an employer contact a job applicant’s past employer for a reference?

Click here to find the answer

 

Other Privacy breaches/concerns that Chapman ER have seen of late are:

 

Q 9. Birthdays. Is it OK to email ‘All staff’ notifying them of an employee’s birthday so they can congratulate them or buy them a card or present?

A. It’s only OK if it’s a special birthday for example a 40th or 60th

B. It’s only OK to send to the employee’s immediate team

C. It’s only OK if the employee gives you permission

D. It’s never OK

E. It’s always OK

Click here to find the answer

Q 10. Resignations. Is it OK to send an email to all staff notifying them of the resignation of an employee and communicating where the staff member will be moving to or what they will be doing next?

A. Only OK if the staff member agrees to the communication

B. It’s always OK. The role is being vacated, the employee is leaving and the staff have a right to know.

C. It’s never OK and the staff will find out soon enough when the job is advertised.

Click here to find the answer

Q 11. Work emails. Can you monitor any information on your company’s computer system i.e. Information accessed and saved on your employee’s desk top?

A. No that is an invasion of your employee’s privacy.

B. You can only monitor work related information.

C. You can only monitor information on an employee’s computer if an alarm alerts you to pornography or inappropriate material being accessed

D. It is your system and you can monitor and access any information stored or accessed on an employee’s desktop, laptop, or other device

Click here to find the answer

 

Q 12. Which answer applies to information gathered from an employee during a workplace investigation e.g. Health & Safety, Bullying:

A. The employee can withdraw their statement at any time through the process

B. The employee cannot withdraw their statement once communicated

C. The employee can correct the information provided if it is recorded inaccurately

D. The employee cannot refuse to participate in an investigation process

Click here to find the answer