Kiwi workers under pressure to do more for less
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 7:30a.m.
A new survey has found that New Zealand employees are under increasing pressure, as employers seek to do more with less.
But the survey, by the global talent solutions company Hudson, has also found it’s not all doom and gloom in Kiwi offices.
Speaking to Firstline this morning Hudson New Zealand executive general manager Roman Rogers says that businesses are less likely to replace vacancies when people resign, instead they redistribute the work of the departing staff member to remaining workers, without offering more pay.
“There’s an increasing tension because employees have a greater sense of their contribution to the workforce, and now they’re starting to have greater expectation that they should be paid more for what they’re delivering.
“Organisations have to be very clear around where their priorities are, what are the roles they’re going to remunerate more, and who are the people within those positions that are high performing.”
Mr Rogers says that despite what people think conditions in Australia are no better than here.
“We’ve seen that Australia are now grappling with the conditions that we have been for the last two or three years, so they’re putting the brakes on quite hard, particularly around the areas of salary increases and also to repopulate the workforce in the case of resignations.”
Mr Rogers says attitudes across the Tasman are no different than here, but Kiwis have had more time to get used to it,
“We’re starting to understand more so how best to work with people and how to recognise their performance and create a positive workplace.”
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7/02/2013 9:40:55 a.m.
WISEACRE - what a load of rubbish, Labour had 9 years of the best worldwide economy the world had seen for decades, their was surplus after surplus - instead of putting it away for a rainy day they spent it. Now you are blaming National for the World wide recession, I would hate to think what the economy would be like if the tree huggers and the lefties were in power for the past two terms - I probably would have sold up and gone oversea's. As an employer I pay my staff their worth well above the minimum wage sometimes twice that and encourage further studies for the companies benefit and theirs.
You make out that all employers are bad and don't care, Ive got staff who have been with me for the past 10 years - for a small business thats not bad, obviously you had a bad experience and are very bitter about your life in general.
7/02/2013 9:06:04 a.m.
I see the head-up-oppositions-ass posters been posting.Labour for all its increase in the dollar value of the NZ min wage, they didn't move NZ real wages much and the wage gap increased. Check the figures, our NZ min wage 1999-2008 sat 35th to 39th in the world. Where has it risen to now? Around 5th. I know acresofidiots think raising the min wage in real terms is only a gesture, as they think a big inflation dollar increase for a reduction in real income would be better!Yes there is a world recession on, and around the world that means ALL businesses are having to dig deeper. The average profit of businesses is well under 1% of revenue, ie they are on the edge of failure, and deciding to tax them to extinction doesn't work. Deciding raise wages wages for raisings sake, will add inflation or put the businesses out of business.Take the UK, they lowerered business tax rates to 20% to encourage business growth with the recession. Its back up to 25% now, but thats still lower than NZs 28%! Take export growth 2000-2005, 5 boom Labour years for 5% growth, which didn't keep up with inflation! ie NZ went backwards in boom years for exports!Take export growth 2008-2011 of 11% under National during recession.Labours surpluses were bullshit. NZ govt debt increased under Labours term 1999-2008, just they moved it from central government to SOE's and hid it with creative accounting. Take total government debt including SOEs, take the 1999 figures, and the 2008 figures, and the debt increased as the surpluses were 100% bullshit!Labour moved unemployed off the unemployment benefit to other benefits. If take the numbers they moved off the unemployed benefit to hide, out unemployed were never as low as Labour claimed - again they used creative accounting.
6/02/2013 4:05:27 p.m.
@MIKE - "Workers can always choose to move employment. Workers are more free to move than employers are free to replace workers."
Nonsense. In case you hadn't noticed, unemployment is at record levels in NZ. Employers have a vast pool of desperate workers to draw upon, enabling them to drive wages and conditions down. People have to take whatever poorly paid work is offered or lose their entitlement to state support. People have to cling to the job they have, because there is no guarantee of finding more work. Even if people do find another job to go to, they lose job security by changing jobs - employers can now fire at will, without cause, in the first 90 days.
National and their business cronies seem to think that the route to prosperity is through undermining workers rights and incomes.
Over the nine years between 1990 and 1999, the National Government introduced the Employment Contracts Act - undermining workers rights and deregulating labour - while increasing the minimum wage by a total of just 70c/hr. Unemployment soared.
Over the following nine years, 1999-2008 - in an attempt to address the power imbalance inherent in employment relations - Labour introduced the Employment Relations Act, and progressively increased the minimum wage by $5/hr. Unemployment in NZ dropped to record lows; the lowest levels in the OECD.
Since being back in power, National have made nothing more than a token gesture towards minimum wage levels - and only due to political pressure - whilst clawing it back through regressive taxation increases that impact most heavily on poor, and all the while further undermining workers rights.
In the four years since taking office, National have increased New Zealand's debt by over $50 Billion; unemployment is at record levels; inequality is the worst it's ever been. National are toxic to the economy.
6/02/2013 9:42:42 a.m.
@mike your figures are plucked from where? The greedy being the business owners that work their employees to the bone of course. How many businesses survive long with that ethic? It has been shown if you look after your workers well productivity goes up. It has also been shown that if you give business grants or tax relief it never trickles down. Take the tax cuts has this stemmed the greedys from making job losses or taking on extra staff? Hardly. In terms of real wages Mark you are living in a fantasy land if you believe half of what you print. All the tax cuts and layoffs have done is cut the tax take and so tax is sneaked on in other ways. Petrol tax hikes, tobacco and alcohol, road tax etc. To make money one first needs to create jobs. National cut the apprenticeships and cut jobs and spent money promoting Australia for our workforce. Even going so far as paying for plane tickets. They now recruit overseas for the almighty CH CH rebuild that is the only thing National are pinning on bringing up employment. They have cut the country to the bone with money saving and now wallow in their created mess with no hopes of fixing it.
6/02/2013 9:17:47 a.m.
Well said Mike - I own two businesses and employ staff. They havent got their house on the line if it fails or have they been putting their wages into them to help capitalise growth, small business is the major employer in NZ and most have put their heart and soul into them.
6/02/2013 12:22:11 a.m.
Workers can always choose to move employment.Workers are more free to move than employers are free to replace workers.The fact remains the real wages have risen in NZ in the last 4 years under National and closed the gap with our trading partners, but we have some posters with their heads so firmly planted up the oppositions backside they wont see that.Take min wage levels. Under Labour the min wages levels in NZ 1999-2008 sat around 35-39th in the world, yet under National they have risen to around 5th in the world - during a world recession!Compare NZ real wages, and compare how this has changed in relation to our trading partners.What do the oppostion talk about doing to wages? They talk of devaluation and double digit inflation to lower real wages, to give exporters lower costs. Nobody in the left blinkered will explain how a lower dollar works to make our exports more competitive - simply they reduce real wages to make out exports cheaper, and that reduction in wages is what the oppositon stands for. The opposition or its followers wont come clean and admit their devaluation policy is aimed at reducing real wages, ie kick working NZ in the guts.Any time of economic trouble businesses will demand more eficency just to survive. Take Summit closing, if they dont get more efficiency, business close. Its not about employer greed, its about business survival, and many dont survive. Anyone can ask for more wages, but asking wont magically print money to pay a wish list for the greedy. Take Kiwirail, its job losses have been built on decades of union greed for a few, so we have likes of the ferry workers of the interislander who are about the best paid in the southern hemisphere, and it makes the Cook Strait one of the most expensive pieces of water to cross. Too much greed by a few will cost jobs elsewhere, as it has in KiwiRail.
5/02/2013 8:20:32 p.m.
Its a short sighted agenda based on greed and suppression of commonsense labour rights. A far more fiscally effective system is the German model that comprehensively involves workers and unions and doesn't try to alienate them in the workplace. Just look at whose bailing out half of Europe during the crisis.
5/02/2013 11:15:42 a.m.
When employers put more stress on people expect sickness level to increase and more holiday time requests. So are cheap employers really gaining anything, and it means less PAYE for the government, John Bill the dynamic duo should be really happy about that.
Is it any wonder why NZ has a low productivity rate, and yet the finger gets pointed at the workers.
5/02/2013 9:07:37 a.m.
The dream state of the right, workers forced to do more for less wages....yahooo!!! Look out kiwis its a race to the bottom for the working class so a selected few can benefit from all those good cheap labour costs. That's been National's agenda from the outset and its finally reaping them results. A casualized workforce who have less benefits or rights and put under pressure to work harder...its almost like an old feudal outlook on life huh? Go National!!
5/02/2013 9:06:16 a.m.
Workers live under the yoke of exploitation, as they are expected to do more & more for less & less.
The modern world of competitive trade has left the worker behind. Productivity & profits have risen off the blood, sweat & tears of the worker, and none of it has trickled back down. Since the Employment Contracts Act, all the power has been with the employer to dictate terms. This has given us poverty wages and no security. Workers have become nothing more than a resource to be exploited.
The parasitic capital-class prefer to horde the wealth created by the workers rather than share the wealth equitably. Wealth doesn't *trickle down* - it gets sucked up.
Greed is not good. Money is not meant to be accumulated but circulated and invested and spent for the common good. The economy needs money to circulate. The more money moves from one hand to another, the more transactions involved, the healthier the economy.
Wealth begets wealth. The more you amass, the easier it is to sidestep the costs of society, buy political privilege, and duck responsibility for financial chaos.
Perhaps we should limit the maximum wage. For example, no CEO may make more than 10x what the lowest-paid worker in their company makes. Thus, if a cleaner or factory worker makes $25,000 per year, the CEO may not make more than $250,000 per year. After all, if those at the top didn't take so much for themselves, there would be more left over for the rest of us.
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