I love the sense of optimism that a new year brings and it’s already shaping up to be a growth year for our clients. We are also saying goodbye to some of our clients as they hand their businesses on to new owners and welcoming some of the new owners onboard as clients. In this newsletter we cover key legislative changes and an HR action plan for the new year.

Key legislative changes you need to know about

Two key pieces of employment legislation were passed in the week before Christmas – and it’s good news for most employers.

1. Trial Periods are back in for all employers
The 90-day trial period has been reinstated for all employers regardless of how many employees they may have.

The key criteria still remain:

  • The employee must be new – if they have worked for you in the past then a trial period cannot be used. You could use a probationary period as an alternative.
  • The trial period must be outlined in the employment agreement and signed prior to the employee starting in their role.
  • The trial period is for a maximum of 90 calendar days.
  • If the employee is dismissed under the terms of a 90-day clause, notice must be given in writing before the 90 days has expired.

2. Fair Pay Agreements are out
The Fair Pay Agreements legislation has been repealed as of 20 December. All work around the six applications that were in play has now ceased.

What does that mean for you as an employer?
It’s mostly back to business as usual! There’s just one key action point. If you gathered information about your employees in relation to Fair Pay Agreements, you must now dispose of that information in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 2020.

Your new year HR action plan

The start of a new year is a great time to refresh your HR documentation, especially your employment agreements to ensure they are compliant with current legislation.

Some of the key things you should consider include:

  • Updating your employment agreements to reflect:
    – the extended timeframes for raising personal grievances related to sexual harassment
    – reinstated trial periods if you want to include these in your future employment agreements
    Note | In the last four years there have been a range of changes made to leave entitlements which also need to be reflected in your agreements.
  • Checking that job descriptions reflect your employee’s key responsibilities.
  • Developing plain English policies that provide a good framework for managing HR matters.
  • Looking at ways to recognise, reward, retain and support your employees.

If you need a helping hand to get started, give us a call on 07 823 3250 to book in a catch up. We’ll shout the coffee (or a refreshing summer drink) and help you with your action plan.