Summary of legislation changes
Management and removal of asbestos
On 4 April, the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 came fully into effect. Commercial property owners or occupiers were previously required to identify asbestos in the workplace. These new rules mean that these buildings must now have asbestos management plans in place. In other words, responsibility now rests with property owners or tenants to mitigate the risk of exposure to asbestos, and ensure that this is clearly documented. Information and advice about Management and Removal of Asbestos is available at worksafe.govt.nz
Paid parental leave
Paid parental leave is being gradually increased from 18 to 26 weeks by 2020. The key dates are as follows: before 1 July 2018 18 weeks from 1 July 2018 22 weeks from 1 July 2020 26 weeks business.govt.nz includes information about the criteria which have to be met in order to be eligible for paid parental leave, along with advice on other practicalities for both employees and employers. The site will be updated on 1 July to ensure content is in line with current legislation.
The new rules for payday reporting are voluntary from 1 April 2018, and compulsory from 1 April 2019. In order to incorporate a business’ tax requirements into the payroll process, businesses will be required to file payroll information every payday rather than monthly. business.govt.nz suggests that using compatible payroll software may make the new process easier, as it would allow payroll information (incl. salary, wages, PAYE, other deductions) to be sent automatically to the IRD at the same time as employees are paid. 36
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Anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML /CFT)
Since 2013, financial institutions have been required to comply with AML /CFT legislation, and this is being gradually extended to cover many more New Zealand businesses. The key dates are as follows: 1 July 2018 Lawyers and conveyancers 1 October 2018 Accountants and bookkeepers 1 January 2019 Real estate agents As well as helping to detect and deter criminals who wish to launder money or finance terrorism through Kiwi businesses, these changes also ensure that New Zealand continues to meet international standards and be regarded as a reputable place to do business.
New hazardous substances regulations
From 1 June, the latest updates to the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 come into force: • additional training requirements for hazardous substances • requirements for storing certain classes of hazardous substances outside a hazardous substances locations Changes have been steadily introduced since 1 December 2017, and further regulations will take effect in December 2018, June 2019 and December 2019. For more detailed information and to check how these new regulations affect your business visit business.govt.nz and search Round-up of 2018 law changes
Draft strategy revealed for Health and Safety at Work
I a i n L e e s - G a l l o w a y, t h e M i n i s t e r f o r Workplace Relations has released the Government’s draft 10-year strategy for improving the health and safety of New Zealand’s workforce. Whilst acknowledging that good progress has been made in reducing the rate of serious injury, the Minister believes urgent work is still needed. “I want to ensure that we are reducing all types of significant harm at work – this includes broadening the focus from acute harm to make sure we’re managing wider health risks, including mental health,” said Mr Lees-Galloway. “A key priority highlighted in the Strategy is ensuring better outcomes for Māori, and other workers at greater risk who are over represented in injury statistics and high-risk sectors, such as forestry and construction, or more likely to be engaged in temporary, geographically remote or precarious employment.” Public consultation closes on 8 June. For more information, including how to lodge a submission, visit mbie.govt.nz and search Health and Safety at Work Strategy 2018-2028
Treasury special topic: Forecasting Migration
On 30 April, the Treasury published its revised forecast of net migration. It anticipates that annual net migration will fall from 68,000 in the year to March to 25,000 in the year ending June 2022. This is 10,000 higher than in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2017 and is due to higher demand in the economy, resulting in increased investment in residential housing and businesses investing in and hiring more staff. The full report is available at treasury.govt.nz, under Monthly Economic Indicators April 2018
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