HR weekly news wrap: Reinstatements, more pay and health and safety program canned

HRM Online brings you a round-up of HR-related news from across the country from job reinstatements to an ACC health and safety program ending.

ACC axes health and safety training programme deal
ACC is to axe a health and safety training programme it funds run by the Council of Trade Unions, Business NZ and private training provider Impac Services.
ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville told The New Zealand Herald the corporation decided late last year that the programme would end once the contract expired this year.

"While the training programme did provide some value, it did not meet our level of expectations, nor deliver value for money," she told the paper.
The initiative, which has been running for a decade, was found to be losing 84 cents in every dollar spent. ACC analysis found that over the period the programme has been in operation a reduction in claims was evident in workplaces where no safety activity has occurred.

Harlem shakers to be permanently reinstated
Two Fonterra employees sacked last year for performing the Harlem Shake at work, recording it and uploading it to You Tube have won their jobs back.
Henry Taufua and Craig Flynn were both dismissed after Fonterra accused the pair of putting themselves and others at risk of harm with their antics, which included riding a paper trolley and dancing with a shovel between legs.

Both employees argued their actions weren't dangerous, but "horseplay" and that they were unfairly dismissed. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) agreed and ordered for the two to be permanently reinstated. The ERA had previously ordered them to be temporarily reinstated. It however, declined to award compensation.

More pay in pockets
Data released by SEEK New Zealand show salaries grew by more than $2,000 in 2013. The average Kiwi pay packet increased by 3% to $74,002 per annum across jobs advertised on the job website.

Of the main cities Wellington had the highest average income of over $81,000, with pay increasing by four per cent while salaries in Auckland rose three per cent to more than $75,000 and five per cent in Canterbury to almost $73,000.

Pay increases were more significant in regional areas. Gisborne’s average pay packet rose 10% to $75,000 and Marlborough grew by eight per cent to more than $65,000 while Northland and Manawatu salaries both grew by six per cent to $66,160 and $62,803 respectively.

Hiring expectations dip despite rosy outlook
In contrast to other research, Hudson New Zealand has announced hiring expectations have dipped slightly this quarter. According to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends hiring expectations are down 2.9 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Nearly two thirds (60.3%) of the more than 1,000 employers surveyed said they intend to keep staffing levels steady this quarter. This rose 3.3pp and accounts for the slight drop in positive hiring intentions, which remain relatively stable at 30.8%.

The fall comes despite New Zealand’s economic indicators showing organisations are well positioned for 2014 as a result of strengthening business confidence and solid economic expansion.

“Although indicators suggest another year of continued economic growth, employers are cautious and remain hesitant to commit to new headcount, particularly with an eye to the performance of the Australian economy,” Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand, stated.

Recruitment consultancy Inspirec acquired by Air Energi Group
Air Energi Group has acquired Inspirec, a recruitment consultancy for New Zealand’s energy industry. The move will see Air Energi, who provide contract, project and permanent hire personnel and expertise to oil and gas projects and clients worldwide, enter the New Zealand market as part of its ongoing global growth strategy.
Inspirec is headquartered in New Plymouth and specialises in the provision of petroleum, engineering and construction professionals throughout the country. The company has primarily focused on permanent and staff roles. However, the acquisition by Air Energi will give the New Zealand team the platform to significantly expand its service offering and support larger scale projects.

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