International Women's Day


19th October, 2015

Mind Your Own Employees

According to the most recent statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, small businesses in New Zealand employ around 584,000 people.

MYOB recently co-hosted a breakfast event with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce to explore issues that affect SME operators who employ staff.

MYOB’s General Manager says it’s important that issues and challenges facing SME employers are highlighted, which is one of the main reasons why we run the MYOB Business Monitor – a regular survey of over 1000 SMEs that is carried out by Colmar Brunton.

James chaired a discussion with some high-profile SME business leaders, including Food and Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich, Hospitality NZ CEO Bruce Robertson, SME Business Network Founder Tenby Powell and Wellington Chamber of Commerce CEO John Milford.

Among the discussion points was the 90-day trial, which the panel agreed was beneficial to SME employers, and which the Business Monitor shows is proving to be a successful policy.

Almost two thirds (63 percent) of small businesses (6 to 19 employees) and 16 percent of micro businesses (1 to 5 employees) have employed a new staff member on a 90-day trial in the last year. Meanwhile, just 13 percent of small businesses and 5 percent of micro businesses have dismissed a staff member within their trial period in the 12 months to August 2015.

Amongst other topics, a discussion arose about the top three employment-related pain points for businesses. According to the MYOB Business Monitor, these are:

  1. The ability to find new staff – 32 per cent
  2. Understanding health and safety compliance – 30 per cent
  3. Dealing with payroll compliance – 29 per cent

In addition, 75 percent of business operators surveyed would like to see ACC levies reduced, 64 percent would support the simplification of PAYE rules, and 59 percent would like to see SMEs exempted from a requirement to have a health and safety committee.

Matt Kennedy-Good, the head of, was listening to the debate. Find out more about his views in this short video.