How to be a 'good employer'
Crown entities with employees are required to be ‘good employers’ (Crown Entities Act (CEA) 2004 sections 118 and 151 (1) (g) refer). Each Crown entity must operate a personnel policy that complies with the principle of being a ‘good employer’, make the ‘good employer’ policy (including the EEO programme) available to employees, ensure compliance with the policy, and report on that compliance in its annual report. ‘Good employer’ is further defined in the Act (CEA s 118 (2)).
Being a ‘good employer’ is part of ensuring that an organisation has the capability to deliver on its strategic objectives. The guidance issued by Central Agencies for Crown entities on preparing Statements of Intent (SOI) (available here) includes reference to the ‘good employer’ policy in its discussion about “Managing organisational health”. This section of the SOI should cover how the entity proposes to manage the organisational health and the capability of the entity (CEA s 141 (1) (e)). The guidance notes that this description will benefit from the inclusion of measures that add to the reader’s understanding of the entity’s capability, and might include (for example) the good employer policy. The guidance further states that the discussion should consider any capability limitations and their impact on the Crown entity’s ability to effectively deliver its outputs and enhance results. In this context, the ‘good employer’ elements described below focus on the fairness and equity aspects of recruiting, developing, managing and retaining staff to achieve the results set out in each Crown entity's Statement of Intent and any applicable output agreement.
A ‘good employer’ is an organisation that provides and supports an environment where employees feel valued and respected, where difference is celebrated and diversity encouraged, where there is active staff engagement, transparency on policies and procedures, clear complaints procedures, and regular feedback. The ‘good employer’ makes maximum use of skills and strengths of all staff but has special regard for those groups most commonly overlooked - Māori, women, ethnic or minority groups, and people with disabilities.
The links below provide detailed and practical information on how to be a 'good employer':
- Organisational employment elements a good employer should consider;
- guidance on staff engagement and consultation throughout the process;
- the steps to ensure a comprehensive EEO programme;
- an annual timeframe.