This morning I was pointed to an article with comments from Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen. The gist of the article was that Cullen is challenging Kiwi businesses to lift wages in order to reverse the huge trend to outward migration from New Zealand. The thinking goes that NZ employers paying more will attract migrants here and deter Kiwis from moving away.
Nice thought but…. from the perspective of a New Zealand employer, in the past year or so we’ve been lumbered with the following;
1) Increased holidays (a move from three to four weeks paid leave for employees)
2) Added time in lieu requirements when employees work on a public holiday
3) Added Kiwisaver overheads (a semi-compulsory retirement saving initiative)
4) Increased compliance costs (they only go one way – up!)
5) Huge exchange rate impacts
While all of these initiatives are arguably positive – they all have the same effects – increasing costs for businesses. Bear in mind that NZ is a nation of SMEs and you’ve got significant pain going on here.
And then the Minister has the gall to suggest that we as employers need to do a little more to attract employees…..
Election year anyone?