As Covid-19 continues to ravage the globe, it’s looking like 2021 is going to demand a lot of adaptability and agility for your business to succeed.
New Zealand will need to be on high alert if we want to ensure that both the original and new virus strains do not escape any of our quarantine centres. Vaccination is the long-term solution but it’s sounding like we’ll have to wait, with the first round hopefully being rolled out to front line personnel in March/April and to the rest of us anywhere from June this year up until as late as mid-2022.
In last month’s newsletter, I raised a flag about a raft of imminent changes which, whether we like it or not, are going to have a big impact on NZ business. The ones that we know are coming really soon include the “Climate Change Emergency”, Sick Leave increase, Fair Pay Agreements, and an additional Personal Tax Band.
Once Government reconvenes after the Christmas break, we will start to see the implementation of the new compliance regulations – and that means the associated costs will start to impact our businesses.
Additional compliance will include:
- Increased environmental compliance involving the tracking of energy and waste savings. This
additional compliance, first openly discussed in February 2020, was put on hold owing to the Covid-19 lockdowns, but with the passing of the Climate Change Emergency Act, it is highly unlikely to experience any further delay. The Act demands the setting and meeting of energy and waste savings targets – initially focused on fossil fuels and waste going to the tip – and there is even talk of penalties being imposed if those targets are not met!
- An additional five days of sick pay per employee – but fortunately no change to the accumulation
- Fair Trade Agreements as implemented in Australia but for all businesses. This basically means
awards by job type or trade; that is, if you employ staff with different trades or skill types, each trade
or skill type will have its own award.
That’s quite a lot of change to take on board in a nervous Covid-19 world; so, to stay ahead of the game, and depending on which of the following categories you fit into, you should now be thinking about how you are going to incorporate the new compliance requirements into your existing systems:
- Businesses that have done well during Covid-19 should look at improving business planning, and reviewing both processes and systems to ensure the company is prepared for the new compliance.
- Businesses that have not fared so well in the last year should consider a full business review focused on improving business planning. It should involve not only a review of processes and systems, but also look to review marketing strategy, specifically where it touches on customer analysis, point-of-difference, and competitive advantage/edge.
- Business owners who are at the enough is enough stage should start thinking seriously about developing an Exit Strategy or Succession Plan. There is currently a shortage of businesses for sale in the marketplace and a surplus of cashed-up buyers looking for a business opportunity. With the right grooming your business can be sold at a premium. The combination of business circumstances that have created this environment are unique, and there is no knowing for how much longer they will last; so, if you fit this category, I’d advise getting in while the going’s good.