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Domestic Violence Leave

Domestic Violence Leave:

What does it mean for employers?

From 1 April 2019 all employees will be entitled to 10 days domestic violence leave every year. While this is a positive step forward for supporting victims of domestic violence, it may have a significant impact on your business so it’s crucial to understand what the new legislation means and how to implement it successfully.

The legislation means that:

  • Each employee is entitled to 10 days domestic violence leave per year, if they or a child they care for is a victim of domestic violence
  • This leave does not carry over each year (unlike annual leave), and so each employee has a maximum of 10 days each year regardless of whether they have taken domestic violence leave before
  • Domestic violence leave that has not been taken does not need to be paid out on termination of employment
  • Like sick leave or bereavement leave, the entitlement is available only after 6 months continuous service
  • The employee must inform you of their intention to take domestic violence leave as early as possible before they are due to start work, or as soon as practical after this
  • The leave should be paid out as either the relevant daily pay or average daily pay (like sick leave)
  • An employer may ask that the employee provide proof of domestic violence to be entitled to the payment

So what steps should you take to put this into practice in your organisation?

We recommend you:

  1. Update your Employment Agreement or Employee Handbook to include a clause on domestic violence leave
  2. Talk to your payroll provider to make sure they have set it up in their system, and ensure your payroll administrator is aware of the information they need to process this correctly
  3. Develop a clear policy that covers requests for domestic violence leave and the process and support available to any employee who requests it. This information will be very sensitive so you must consider the privacy aspect of these requests very carefully when developing a policy
  4. Educate you leadership team on handling requests, how to be sensitive and supportive to the employee, and how and when to request proof of domestic violence
  5. Consider what additional support you may be able to offer employees who request this type of leave, through counselling, EAP support or referrals to support agencies

Domestic violence can happen to team members from all levels of your organisation and have a major impact on their ability to perform their role. Anyone who is not safe at home will struggle to fulfill the requirements of their role, and asking for help in this situation can be challenging. By offering a supportive, caring environment where your team feel OK to ask for help, you can make a significant difference to their lives.

Positive People has 23 years’ experience helping organisations develop policies which align with legislation and support their teams. If you need help to implement a policy on domestic violence leave, please contact us today.

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Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews:

Staying in-touch and in-tune with your individual team members


Performance Reviews are hard to get right!

Whether you are the manager or the employee, there is often a sense of trepidation, dread or duty attached to them. Equally, we all know that they are important and are also highly valued by many employees.

As a result of these commonly held love/hate feelings, Performance Reviews bubble away as a current topic. Their worth is constantly being questioned and processes fine-tuned in an effort to improve engagement and generate a more positive perception.

What is the secret?

It would be fair to say that most people, to a lesser or greater degree, want some attention to be focused on them. Traditionally, Performance Reviews are conducted either annually or bi-annually. To stay in touch with team members’ personal feelings about their work, as well as their workplace aspirations, and their performance on the job, more communication than this is required.

Day to day interactions are, of course, important. They tend to be very much operational and concerned about the job at hand. They are necessary and facilitate and provide support to meet the demands that arise daily. But this is still not enough.

The most important key to unlocking great performance is to

Link the

Day to day inter-actions that occur between a manager and employee

with the

Performance Reviews

by holding

Regular scheduled one-on-one meetings with each person in your team.

This cyclical communication approach means that you are in close contact with your team members throughout the year. If you think through and conduct your individual One–on–One meetings in a standard way with regular topics up for discussion, then you will find that you are in-touch and in-tune with each team member throughout the year. You will be able to canvas all the important topics that are covered in Performance Reviews.

How do One-on-Ones actually work?

  • Decide on a standard format for your One-on-Ones
  • Customise this format to suit each individual member of your team
  • Work out the most appropriate scheduling of meetings that works for each individual relative to their need and the seniority of the job. Some need weekly meetings, some fortnightly, some monthly
  • Hold the meetings regularly!
  • Act on what is decided.
  • Cover the topics on a by-exception basis so that the One-on-One meetings are short, punchy and useful

By regularly holding the One-on-One meetings, the Performance Reviews simply become a more in-in-depth extension of them. One-on-One meetings provide a non-threatening and natural forum for current work issues, as well other important matters beyond the daily grind, to be raised, discussed and resolved. Come Performance Review time, discussion flows and real benefit from the annual or bi-annual “stand back” review is the outcome.

Introduce a system of cyclical one-on-one communication and performance reviews, and watch performance improve.

Keen to learn more? Positive People have tried and tested systems and formats across both Performance Reviews and One-on-Ones to help you improve performance. Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077.