90 day trials benefiting small businesses and disadvantaged job hunters

June 11th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Small businesses are more likely to hire disadvantaged job hunters since a 90-day trial period was introduced in 2011, research shows.

Recall Labour and Greens vow to abolish these, which would make us (off memory) the only country in the OECD without them.

A national survey of employers found that 72 per cent of those which used trial periods had not dismissed an employee during that time, while 27 per cent of employers had dismissed at least one worker during the trial period.

The report said smaller employers were most satisfied with the 90-day trial because they faced greater risks and costs when recruiting.

Larger employers benefited less, mainly because they had more robust recruitment processes and greater resources to manage risk, it said.

Under the 90-day trial, about one third of employers said they hired staff they would not have otherwise taken on.

The costs to an employer of a wrong staff hire can be quite massive, and job interviews are no substitute for seeing how someone actually performs.

Changes to the Holidays Act had partially met objectives and had minimal impact on firms’ costs, the report said.

Employers and unions said the ability to allow cashing up to occur and to transfer public holidays was sensible.

Didn’t the unions oppose the option of cashing up the 4th week of leave? Could never work out why – it gives employees more flexibility and choice.

Changes to union access and communication during collective bargaining had little impact on employers and unions and did not increase the number of problems reported.

Yet they claimed it would. Shows the recent changes have been minor, yet useful.

 

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26 Responses to “90 day trials benefiting small businesses and disadvantaged job hunters”

  1. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Equivalence would be an employee having 90 days to decide whether to take the job offer, what the job offer involved is best discovered in the job, rather than at the interview.

    [DPF: Equivalence is an employee can resign at any time, without needing to give a reason]

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  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘MBIE spokeswoman Abby Johnston said while it was too soon to assess the full impact of the changes, there were indications that some were working as intended.’
    Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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  3. nasska (11,491 comments) says:

    SPC

    Crap. Equivalence would be the position where the employee was permitted to resign from the job within 90 days if pay/conditions/whatever didn’t come up to the expectations created in the interview.

    Which is as it has always been.

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  4. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    SPC>Equivalence would be an employee having 90 days to decide whether to take the job offer, what the job offer involved is best discovered in the job, rather than at the interview.

    Unless the government has legislated in favour of slavery without anyone noticing, people have the option to quit jobs whenever they want. It has always been this way.

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  5. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    Narsekissa wouldn’t last 90 days with the mandatory drug testing in force at many organisations.

    That’s one good point of the ninety day period. Employee and employer can work together to overcome any shortcomings of employee. Addiction to drugs or alcohol difficult to deal with though.

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  6. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    Flip side of course, is permanent employment.

    Being implemented currently in Belarus.

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  7. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Thanks DPF. I saw the labour spin press release from dickhead little

    “over a quarter of employers have fired someone within 90 days! they are using it as an employment term and getting rid of people” blah blah

    Dime took a chance when this law came out.. it worked.. went on to employ 3 others because of that law.

    People like TOAD PROMISED me they would show me a ton of horror stories resulting from this law. still yet to see any.

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  8. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Another useful change is for employees earning over $100,000 to be not subject to employment law (would need some safeguards to stop an employer giving a rise then sacking – an old employment trick not currently applicable in NZ).

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  9. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Is this another one of those things that is working so well because Labour said it was a crisis?
    When they finally admit they are a crisis themselves they’ll probably start doing better in the polls. They still haven’t hit rock bottom yet though.

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  10. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    I think you people, and Stuff, are missing the only thing that matters – How has this policy effected union membership numbers ????

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  11. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Another useful change is for employees earning over $100,000 to be not subject to employment law (would need some safeguards to stop an employer giving a rise then sacking – an old employment trick not currently applicable in NZ).”

    so just fire people on the spot?

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  12. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Regardless of the merits of the idea, $100k is too low.

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  13. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    I really wish they would re-think their stance on this. Even if they decided to make a change to limited it to companies under a certain number of employees it would be better then getting rid of it completely. Sadly they are so hellbent on ideology that they refuse to even look at some of these things (charter schools are another example) even if they have merit.

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  14. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    I can clearly remember when this 90 trial period legislation went through the House…the Socialists announced they were starting a “roll of shame” which would have carved upon it the expected hundreds, nay thousands, of Dickensian employers who would take advantage of this legislation by sacking “workers” on the 89th day, and then take on another one, ad infinitum.

    In apparently seeing this as a real threat, they of course revealed their utter ignorance about how employing and dismissing staff works in the real world – in short it is an expensive and protracted business, and not one an employer wishes to go through more often than is necessary. In my experience, while employers often totally fuck up the process of dismissal, there is usually ample reason by the time they actually do it. there are of course exceptions.

    When I last checked there was no more than a small handful of cases where it has been alleged that employers misused the 90 grace period they were granted by this legislation. Mikey and Toad (where is that boy lately?) may be able to update us on the “Roll of Shame”. Incidentally, I believe we have the shortest “no personal grievances” period in the OECD – in Britain it is two years.

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  15. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    We have used this law, it is bloody fantastic.

    Of the seven people we have hired (seven we may not have taken a chance on) five are still with us. One decided it was not for them the other simply was not up to doing the job.

    No fucking around pretending to go through a consultation process, no pretending that we are addressing their concerns, no pretending to listen to their piss arse excuses and giving them time to work on “other issues”.

    It’s simply a case of ‘It’s not working out sorry, we are letting you go”

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  16. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Cunningham: Ideology is a huge problem for the Socialists…and much as old Red hates it, it is also one of the major differences between them and the Nats. If it’s ideologically incorrect, its got to go, now matter how well it is working.

    When I last looked they were also committed to repealing three strikes…notwithstanding that it is working exactly as intended, and there is NOT ONE case – in the more than 4000 so far – where some poor boy charged with stealing a pizza has received a strike conviction. (That is impossible the way the law is drafted, but that’s irrelevant to those chaps on the left)

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  17. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    The main cost of heavy handed employment law is lower salaries, because the market sets salary levels based on the total cost of employment including the cost to employers of getting rid of trouble-makers and non-performers.

    It isn’t really an issue of income security because people can buy income protection insurance privately if they feel they need to. The issue is whether or not to spread the cost of that income security via lower salaries for hard-working, productive employees who are in no danger of being sacked.

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  18. Ryan Sproull (7,144 comments) says:

    Another useful change is for employees earning over $100,000 to be not subject to employment law.

    Why is that?

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  19. Wayne Mapp (67 comments) says:

    Great news, and very predictable.

    How long will Labour stick with their opposition to it? Maybe another 3 years in opposition will be necessary to reconcile them to it.

    After all NZ was the only OECD country that did not have a proper trial period. I chose 90 days precisely because it was moderate, actually the shortest practicable period. Most OECD countries have 6 months, and some a lot more than that.

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  20. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    One of my workers – who turned out very good – was telling me one day how terrible the 90 day trial law was. He changed his tune quite fast when I told him I would have never taken him on in the first place if the law hadn’t been there.

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  21. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    “where some poor boy charged with stealing a pizza has received a strike conviction” if he stole a pizza under the threat of violence, he would get a strike OK, even more so if he had his mate with him. Trouble is the crim huggers concentrate on the theft, not the accompanying violence. I bet some young Hawkes Bay man will mug someone for his phone in a few years (when he is let out) and will cop 10 or 14 years (if aggravated) mandatory jail for a third strike and all hell will break loose from Kim Workman and co. Perhaps he will realise what is coming and go straight.

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  22. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    peterwn: Quite so…the complaint to the BSA that I had upheld concerned a radio programme about one Elijah Whaanga….described by Radio NZ as a “playground bully” – despite the offence having occurred in a street, nowhere near a playground…the description because his second strike offence was the theft – with violence as you say – of a skateboard and a hat…That was because the victim had no money on him to steal…The programme also failed to mention Whaanga’s first strike conviction – also an aggravated robbery on the street – of $68…again, all the man on him…Oh, and he got his teeth kicked in as well…but Elijah is somehow worthy of sympathy…

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  23. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    But back to this thread…anyone know how many names are on the “Roll of Shame”??

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  24. OneTrack (3,092 comments) says:

    Dead Earnest – “He changed his tune quite fast when I told him I would have never taken him on in the first place if the law hadn’t been there.”

    Now that would have been good to watch.

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  25. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    David – We were on the same wavelength – unless Whaanga smells the coffee, he will be one of the ‘strike 3 offenders’ whose lawyer will be waffling on about how a 10 or 14 year non-parole sentence will be ‘crushing’ ….. It was a pity Judge Adeane did not make it clear at the time that the ‘second strike’ was for the violence and not just the theft.

    dime and kimble – if you do not feel confident on a $100k salary, then settle for $99,999. And if you have the brains, skills and confidence to be earning over $100k, then you should be able to negotiate a better contract than one where the employer can sack you without notice for no cause.

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  26. Left Right and Centre (2,979 comments) says:

    Labour should push 90 day trials for politicians. That could be the only way they’ll hitch a lift in the polls.

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