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work life blend

27th August 2018

I recently wrote a blog post about life as a working mum, and in the post, I said I had found “balance” and I felt like I could have it all; the luxury of time as a mum, and time as a business woman.
The caveat to all that, was my phrase “to some extent, anyway”.
There is always give & take and having balance doesn’t mean total equality between the two things, work & life. There is no such thing as a perfect 50/50 split. So to me, balance means being able to dedicate time & energy to both, exactly when you want to.

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Posted in The Working Women's Tribe |

how to enforce an employee dress code

22nd August 2018

A British Airways worker made the news last week after his employment was terminated because he had a ‘man bun’.  He argued it was discrimination because females were allowed to wear their hair in that style, and yet because he was a male, he wasn’t.

While the jury is still out on who will win this one, it does raise a good point about company dress codes, and the right way to enforce them.

A company is absolutely entitled to have a dress code to reflect the type and status of the business, but it must be reasonable in the context of the company’s business – you can’t really prevent someone having a specific hair style for no justifiable reason.

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Posted in dress code |

asking for a pay rise – how to do it

14th August 2018

Today’s teachers strike got me thinking.  At face value, it looks like a group of employees who want a pay increase, have decided to boycott their jobs until they get one.  According to mainstream media, the nurses did something similar last month.

In a non-unionised corporate world, striking would never fly.

I don’t know any business that would respond favourably to an employee refusing to do the job they’re employed to do, until they’re paid more money.  In fact, this blatant refusal to work may lead to a disciplinary discussion.

But for essential public services that we all depend on, it’s an effective strategy for pay negotiations.  Both nurses and teachers are at the mercy of a pay scale system that rewards longevity in the profession, rather than individual performance so their approach to pay negotiations has to reflect this.  The professions are also largely unionised, which restricts their ability to discuss pay with their manager.

For those of us in paid employment in a non-unionised workforce, we have to approach pay negotiations differently.

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why I started the working women’s tribe

14th August 2018

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to meet with other female business owners as part of a newly forming networking group in Hamilton.

Roadworks meant it took longer to get there than I had anticipated and I battled finding a park in the big smoke, but I made it.

And I had a nice time.  The Tank salad was delicious.  My boy Otis charmed everyone, and I scored extra brownie points because I happened to be wearing a dress made by Hayley Addison from Addison Clothing who was there too. No better way to show your support of small NZ business than by sporting their wears!

During the catch up, we went around the table and each of the 25 ladies introduced themselves and their business.  They rattled off their achievements, future business goals and strategic plans, and all had an impressive resume – it was a group of self-starters who’d forged their way in a predominately male business world.

Almost as an after-thought, they mentioned the fact that they were a mum.

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life as a working mum

29th July 2018

I started eight73 consulting in 2013.  It was a month before I became a wife, and 15 months before I became a  mum.  For that first year, my business was my baby.  It was pretty all-consuming, physically and mentally, and the responsibility I felt to keep the business alive was at times intense.

I was torn betwmy familyeen spending time developing the business through approaching new potential clients, while also investing in nurturing the partnerships I’d already secured, and of course delivering to the work I had on.  There were never enough hours in the day and I constantly felt like I was chasing my tail.

And then, in May 2014, just as my business was really starting to hit its straps with consistent work from strong partnerships I’d developed, and a steady pipeline of referrals, I had a baby, a real baby.  A real life human being who’s sole survival depended on me.  I had to think and act for Archie all day and all night, on top of running a business.

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Posted in about us |

addressing delaying tactics

28th July 2018

It can be pretty frustrating when you have a disciplinary matter to resolve and the meeting is persistently postponed because the employee’s chosen support person is unavailable.

What can you do about it?  Do you really have to continue rescheduling and allowing time to lag on and on?  The simple answer is no.  Case law has shown us that while the employee does have the right to choose their own representative, this can not impede the process.

So, if you’re faced with this debacle, the best approach is to outline some options to the employee and put the ball in their court as to which one to choose.

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Posted in disciplinary process |

steps of a disciplinary process

9th July 2018

volunteer vs employeeWe all know HR can be a real minefield if you’re not sure of the correct process to follow when you suspect an employee is up to no good.

It isn’t clearly documented in legislation, but case law has given us a great framework that should be applied whenever a disciplinary matter rears its head.

Below we have outlined the main steps of a disciplinary process:

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Posted in disciplinary process, legislation |

paying employees for work-related activity

29th June 2018

The Employment Court recently overturned a 2016 ERA decision, forcing Smiths City to recompensate hundreds of staff for unpaid work meetings to the tune of $1.5M.

The retail chain expected staff to turn up at 8.45am – 15 minutes prior to the official start of their 9:00am shift – for daily sales meetings.  Smiths City argued the meetings were unpaid because they varied from store to store, and attendance was not compulsory, but Judge Inglis viewed it differently.  She said the meetings were conducted according to a standardised template provided by the company, and although the meetings had an informal tone, the workers were expected to attend and therefore it constituted a work activity and they should be remunerated for them.

The ruling went on to focus on the fact that many of those affected employees were minimum wage earners, who would therefore drop below the minimum wage threshold once the additional time had been taken into account.

It’s a slightly confusing concept to get your head around, but is easier to understand with an example.

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Posted in legislation |

the art of communication

28th June 2018

I’ve recently been engaged to resolve an employment issue arising from a personality clash – essentially there are two people who have to work in close proximity with frequent interaction, and they just don’t get on.

There was no catalyst to the breakdown in communication – after all, no single raindrop is responsible for a flood.  But rather it was a sequence of events that resulted in a strained working relationship with communication at the heart of the issue. This was not a situation where one person was clearly at fault, and both parties felt the blame lay with the other person.  Read More »

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Posted in communication |

volunteer vs employee

18th June 2018

What makes someone an employee?  One of our clients recently approached us for some advice on whether a family friend who’d offered to help on the farm should be treated as an employee, or whether they were in fact just a volunteer.
It can be pretty easy to blur the lines between volunteer and employee, particularly when personal relationships are involved.  This can be a fairly contentious topic, particularly if there is a difference of opinion about which status should apply.

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Posted in legislation |

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