Find­ing time to keep time

De­crease work dis­putes

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By ABBY BROWN

Farm­ers need to keep good time records for em­ploy­ees to en­sure they are get­ting at least the min­i­mum wage, HR ad­viser at Coop­erAitken Ltd ac­coun­tants John Bros­nan says.

‘‘Good record keep­ing on timesheets will also en­sure good records re­gard­ing an­nual leave, sick leave, ros­tered days off and min­imise dis­putes over these mat­ters – which is all good news for ru­ral em­ploy­ment,’’ he said.

There had been un­cer­tainty ear­lier this year be­cause there had been ru­mours that the Min­istry of Busi­ness In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment (MBIE) were go­ing to treat an ac­com­mo­da­tion al­lowance as a part of salary/wages dif­fer­ently from how IRD have tra­di­tion­ally viewed it.

‘‘This cre­ated a lot of un­cer­tainty for months and many em­ploy­ers were sign­ing up new staff for the 2014/15 sea­son un­sure of ex­actly how to cal­cu­late the min­i­mum wage.

Thank­fully MBIE reached a de­ci­sion in May and hope­fully this has been well com­mu­ni­cated out to the ru­ral com­mu­nity now.’’

Min­i­mum wage cal­cu­la­tions con­tinue to in­clude ac­com­mo­da­tion al­lowances and were based on the to­tal hours worked on ei­ther a weekly or fort­nightly pay cy­cle.

Bros­nan had a sim­ple for­mula for em­ploy­ers seek­ing to work out if their em­ploy­ees were earn­ing above min­i­mum wage dur­ing calv­ing and mat­ing.

Us­ing the for­mula would show the em­ployee if he had to pay the em­ployee a few more hours to en­sure the em­ployee was get­ting the min­i­mum wage per hour, he said.

Keep­ing good time sheets were es­sen­tial if farm­ers wanted to use the for­mula.

John Bros­nan

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