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Advocacy for business by the BusinessNZ Network

Industries gather on climate

Over 100 business & industry reps took part in a BusinessNZ zoom meeting yesterday to begin a pan-industry response to the Climate Change Commission's plans to achieve carbon zero by 2050.  BusinessNZ's Tina Schirr says industries support the move to carbon zero, but issues include economic vulnerability of some sectors, impact on jobs, lack of emissions reduction technology, potential carbon leakage, and duplication of the ETS.   The pan-industry response will be part of BusinessNZ's submission to the CCC consultation.  


Canterbury business 2021

Canterbury business will face disrupted supply chains and pressure on exports and imports in 2021, according to Leeann Watson, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.   Speaking at the Chamber’s Back to Business event, Leeann Watson said Canterbury businesses could nevertheless benefit by continuing to buy and support local, being unique, building on existing strengths, innovating, and embracing new opportunities created by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Sick leave changes miss the mark

Businesses are concerned at the cost of a big increase in sick leave, and also concerned about losing control of staff absences.   A new law currently going through select committee would increase all sick leave entitlements from 5 to 10 days per year.   BusinessNZ says the move could double companies’ sick leave costs while not necessarily helping the fight against Covid, and a better approach would be for the Govt to attach desired sick leave increases to Covid relief packages, allowing for confirmation that the sick leave was connected to Covid-19.


Holidays Act overhaul

The Govt has confirmed that the Holidays Act will finally be overhauled, as proposed by BusinessNZ and the CTU in 2018.   Problems with the Act have caused businesses to pay incorrect leave amounts requiring multi-million arrears payments.  A key problem: the Act is written as if work mostly happens nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday.  But many workplaces now have variable hours of work, and the Act makes it hard for payroll managers to work out what a week is for variable hours.


Advocacy spot:  digital tech

More Kiwis with digital skills are needed to work in NZ companies, says NZTech.  Instead of relying on bringing skilled workers from overseas, more digital skills should be taught here at home, NZTech’s Graeme Muller says.   As well as enhanced training in secondary and tertiary education, NZTech would like to see digital apprenticeships established, where trainees can learn digital skills in coordinated training between education institutions and the workplace.  


Coming up

AdvocacyUpdate is an update on recent activity & advocacy by the BusinessNZ Network