News

  • 03 Jul 2017 2:59 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    ADAVB Council has elected Dr Susan Wise, specialist periodontist in McKinnon, as 2017-2018 ADAVB President.

    Dr Wise, an ADAVB Councillor since 2010, has a particular interest in oral health promotion, having served on the ADAVB Oral Health Committee since 2005 and chaired the committee from 2005 to 2009. She was the Victorian representative on the Federal ADA Oral Health Working Group from 2014 until May 2017.

    Dr Wise's additional leadership roles include serving on the ADAVB Executive for the past three years, past president of the Australian Society of Periodontics Victorian Branch, secretary of the Victorian Womens’ Dental Association and secretary of Korean Adoption Families.

    Dr Susan Wise, takes on the position following the completed term of Immediate Past President, Dr Andrew Gikas. The ADAVB welcomes Dr Wise and wishes her an effective, rewarding and successful term.

    This article was originally sourced from ADA.

  • 21 Jun 2017 1:45 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The banking industry has put its Code of Banking Practice, banks' idea of what good banking practice should be, on an extreme diet.

    And bank lobby group the New Zealand Bankers' Association (NZBA) is now calling for submissions on its proposed new vastly thinned down Code of Banking Practice.

    The existing Code runs to 51 pages. In contrast, my print out of the proposed new Code only runs to 4½ pages.

    Why is this so and does it matter for bank retail customers to whom the Code applies?

    The Code is developed by the banking industry, and is the industry's idea of what good banking practice should look like. NZBA member banks agree to observe this good practice as a minimum standard in how they treat customers. The Code is used by the Banking Ombudsman, along with bank terms and conditions, and the law, to assess and make recommendations in disputes between banks and customers. The Code was launched in 1992 and is currently in its fifth edition, which was published five years ago.

    According to NZBA the existing Code is prescriptive and largely duplicates bank terms and conditions. In contrast, the proposed new Code takes a principles-based approach making it more accessible to bank customers, and gives the Banking Ombudsman more flexibility in deciding what good banking practice is. NZBA says the new approach will keep the Code up to date with changes in the way people are banking, as well as with new legal obligations for banks.

    What & who is the Banking Ombudsman?

    The Banking Ombudsman Scheme provides a free service helping customers resolve problems with their banks. It is funded by its bank participants, who are named here. It's governed by a board whose independent chairperson is Miriam Dean QC. Other board members are BNZ CEO Anthony Healy and Rabobank NZ CEO Daryl Johnson from the bank side, plus Consumer NZ CEO Suzanne Chetwin and a second consumer representative, Kenina Court.

    The actual Banking Ombudsman is Nicola Sladden, who has two deputies. Sarah Parker is the Deputy Banking Ombudsman for resolution, and Tina Mitchell is Deputy Banking Ombudsman for prevention.

    NZBA says a new Code is needed because the current Code has grown and moved away from its original purpose.

    "The current Code now largely duplicates banks’ standard terms and conditions. The Code also hasn’t kept up to date with changes in the way we now prefer to do our banking. The review presents an opportunity to modernise both the content and structure of the Code. The current Code is 51 pages long, is prescriptive, reads like bank terms and conditions, and easily gets out of date in the face of banking innovation. We propose simplifying the Code and adopting a principles-based approach that is easy to read. The proposed approach should make the Code easier for customers to understand and avoid duplicating bank terms and conditions. It should also keep the Code up to date in terms of changes to the way we’re banking and new consumer law obligations for banks," NZBA says.

    Detail versus principles

    The existing Code features 10 detailed sections plus an appendix. They are an introduction, communication, products and services, cheques, credit, pins and password, cards, internet banking, other services including foreign exchange services, and statements and account information. Here's a video interview with then-NZBA CEO Kirk Hope when the Code was last updated in 2012.

    In stark contrast, the proposed new Code sets out five principles of good banking practice and provides some information on how banks will strive to meet these. The five principles are that banks will:

    • Treat customers fairly and reasonably
    • Communicate with customers clearly and effectively
    • Respect customers’ privacy and confidentiality and keep their banking systems as secure as they can
    • Act responsibly when offering or providing customers with credit
    • Deal effectively with customer concerns and complaints.

    What NZBA says

    Asked why the Code is being renewed now, NZBA CEO Karen Scott-Howman says it's reviewed every few years, with the current review beginning in 2015. Asked what benefits there are for banks in the proposed new Code, Scott-Howman says it presents some challenges for them.

    "For example, they’ll need to review their internal processes and policies to ensure staff are trained about the new Code and that their terms and conditions fit with the Code. It will also provide the Banking Ombudsman with more flexibility in making recommendations in particular cases," Scott-Howman says.

    "We have consulted closely with the Banking Ombudsman in developing the draft Code. We’ve also talked to other key stakeholders, including Consumer NZ and the Commission for Financial Capability, and incorporated their feedback. We’re currently seeking public feedback on the draft Code."

    She describes the Code as an example of industry self-regulation.

    "In the new Code we’re looking to set out some high level commitments in a way that’s accessible to customers. It’s a clear statement from the industry about how we want to relate to our customers. That has an important place in the broader regulatory framework in which we operate. Regulator involvement would move this from self-regulation to co-regulation. Regulators [such as the Commerce Commission, Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank] can, of course, make submissions on the draft Code," Scott-Howman says.

    Some of the change to the Code is designed to address changes in the way people bank.

    "For example, with cheque use declining year on year, and mobile banking hugely increasing, the current Code has a whole chapter on cheques and only a couple of clauses on mobile banking. A higher level principles-based approach avoids the Code quickly getting out of date in light of these innovations and customer banking preferences," says Scott-Howman.

    Additionally the new Code will address regulatory change such as the Responsible Lending Code, and review of the Financial Advisers Act.

    What the Banking Ombudsman says

    Sladden says the Code remains relevant and is an opportunity for the industry to signal its commitment to meet community expectations of banking.

    "I accept that a number of new legal obligations have been introduced. However, there are still obligations in the Code that are not enshrined in law. Even where there is a double-up between the Code and the law, it is good to maintain industry consensus on the standard of practice that should apply. The Code principles are not black-letter obligations imposed on the banks...The idea of the Code being based on a voluntary commitment from the banks to the community is important. It promotes trust and confidence in the sector. It is also a way of ensuring no individual provider lags behind good industry practice. It forms an important part of the wider consumer protection framework," says Sladden.

    And, she says, the new Code will be more effective.

    "The new Code is principles based, in plain-English with fewer qualifications. The new Code is more flexible, easier to understand and will keep apace as standards of good banking practice change and develop over time. The process of developing new law is neither speedy nor simple."

    Furthermore Sladden says by signing up to the Code banks agree to accept limits on their freedom to contract with their customers in the interests of ethical business practice and consumer protection.

    "The Code is therefore significant in that it gives banking customers an extra level of assurance, over and above the law, as part of a broader consumer protection framework. That standard is understood by the banks, which prevents issues from arising in the first place, and then reinforced by the Banking Ombudsman if complaints do occur. The Code also influences the standards imposed on other members of the financial services industry," says Sladden.

    In terms of moving from a prescriptive approach to a principled one, Sladden says a shorter, more principles based Code has the flexibility to cover new situations that may not have been anticipated when the Code was created.

    "With new innovations and technologies emerging at a faster rate than ever, it is important that the banking industry has a code of practice that is sufficiently flexible to adapt to a wide range of services and products. The Banking Ombudsman takes a similar approach to applying the Code to complaints – what was the purpose of the rule and how would a reasonable bank have applied the Code in the same circumstances," she says.

    "The benefits for customers are that the Code holds banks to a higher standard than the law, the Code is now future-proofed in that it is sufficiently flexible to cover new products and services, and a principled approach means banks will be expected to reasonably apply the spirit of the Code, rather than taking a litigious approach to detail," Sladden says.

    "Our advice to customers is to be aware that the law and the Code offers a robust framework for consumer protection, but customers must always be aware of the specific terms and conditions they agree with their bank. The terms and conditions set out the contractual obligations for the bank and the customer, and are likely to involve more detail than the law or the Code."

    My view

    A question I have in relation to the new Code is whether it is slimmed down too much, thus becoming too vague. For example, one paragraph from the proposed new Code says:

    "What may be fair and reasonable in any case will depend on the circumstances, including our conduct and yours, what our terms and conditions say, what the law says, and good banking practice."

    Such language potentially leaves massive wriggle room for banks and their lawyers when faced with customer complaints. And with such a drastic reduction in size, has something of critical importance to customers been left out?

    One could argue that the Code of Banking Practice is put together by the banks for the banks. However, as Sladden points out it's good to have industry consensus on the standard of behaviour banks should maintain.

    Ultimately, however, the Code doesn't form part of the terms and conditions of a customer's relationship with their bank. Nor does it override or replace these terms and conditions. And it doesn't form part of a contract between a bank and its customers.

    Nonetheless it sets a floor for ethics in banks' treatment of customers and is something bank customers ought to be aware of.

    NZBA is seeking public submissions on its proposed new Code by July 26. Detail on the submissions process is here. The draft Code is here, and the existing Code is here.

    This article was originally sourced on Interest.co.nz.

  • 21 Jun 2017 1:39 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    NZMA supports NZMSA stand on growing student debt

    The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the NZ Medical Students’ Association’s (NZMSA) call for the Government to lift the time limit on financial support for medical students. “We supported the NZMSA’s previous campaign to raise the limit from 7 to 8 years’ full-time study, and were aware then that this limit would still adversely affect a number of students,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock.

    “Articles in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal make it clear just how much of an impact this is still having, with growing levels of debt affecting an increasing number of students.

    “The cap on student loans limits the pool of people undertaking medical training to those with financial resources, and cuts out many with prior education or training in other fields, who may be ideal candidates.

    “With a cap on student loans at 8 years of fulltime study, we risk losing many of those whose experience and knowledge (beyond the confines of medicine) could significantly benefit our patients and the health of all New Zealanders.”

    This media release was written by the New Zealand Medical Association.

  • 21 Jun 2017 1:29 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Police Association astounded at Government rejection of firearms controls

    The New Zealand Police Association says the Minister of Police has today ignored the risk of increased firearms threats to the public, and made the jobs of front line officers more difficult and definitely more dangerous.

    Association President Chris Cahill said gun presence and/or violence is now reported in New Zealand on a daily basis and Minister Paula Bennett’s gutting of the recommendations of the Law and Order Select Committee’s Inquiry into the possession of illegal firearms will do nothing to rectify that.

    “The Minister has rejected every meaningful measure put forward by the Committee in a genuine effort to prevent the supply of firearms to criminals,” Mr Cahill said.

    “Minister Bennett appears to have bowed to the pressure of the gun lobby which we believe represents fewer than 10,000 of the 240,000 licensed gun owners. She has ignored the deliberations of the Select Committee, even on the common sense and obvious recommendations, to the point you have to ask why hold an inquiry in the first place,” he said.

    Mr Cahill acknowledges the Minister’s statement that nobody wants firearms getting into the hands of violent gang members, but says that’s exactly what is happening now and essentially maintaining the status quo will not rectify an already unacceptable situation.

    “The Minister’s concern about ‘over the top’ rules and restrictions on hunters and shooters ignores the reality that New Zealand is awash with firearms and the majority of them are stolen,” he said.

    “The Association does not want to burden legitimate gun owners, but does not believe any of the Committee’s recommendations did that.”

    The Association keeps a record of firearms incidents reported by its members. The following is just a small sample of those recorded in and around the Auckland area in the last few days:

    • male victim assaulted by offenders with a shotgun and pistol
    • police locate rifle in vehicle tracked by Eagle helicopter
    • victim threatened by 4 males with shotgun
    • three offenders discharged shotgun in late night bar, took contents of slot machine
    • Black Power supporter’s vehicle search revealed sawn off shotgun and ammunition
    • vehicle containing air rifle and stubb nosed pistol stolen outside owner’s address
    • male driver waves long barrelled firearm out window of vehicle
    • vehicle containing 2 shotguns stolen from owner’s address
    • pump action shotgun belonging to patched Tribesman member located during search
    • shotgun victim had been using for duck shooting stolen from vehicle parked near rugby club

    “In one Police district alone, officers seized 525 firearms, and recorded 461 offences involving either breaches of the Arms Act or criminal use of a firearm were recorded in the last fiscal year, Mr Cahill said.

    “Control of firearms is taken very seriously by the Association because it is our members who stand between criminals with guns and the public. That is why we question the reasons behind the Minister’s rejection of a very simple and painless measure such as Police recording serial numbers of all firearms upon renewal of licence or inspection of premises,” he said.

    He added that another puzzling decision was for the Minister to recommend the introduction of the power to suspend licences pending decision on revocation, in order to give Police an alternative to cancelling a licence in situations such as someone charged with family violence or where security issues need to be resolved.

    “The Association would consider family violence or lack of secure storage to be potential red flags when it comes to the right to have guns”, Mr Cahill said.

    While the Association does not question the personal integrity of the two people the Minister appointed as independent advisors on the firearms report, it does challenge their ‘independence’ given one actually made submissions to the Committee that the Minister has now over ridden.

    This article was originally sourced from Scoop Independent News

  • 21 Jun 2017 11:45 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    New portal offers wide range of training for vet practices

    • Variety of learning available
    • Courses designed by leading experts
    • Vets, vet nurses and support staff to benefit

    Auckland 21 June 2017 – Today, Bayer New Zealand has launched VetSpace, a new training portal that provides a wide range of online training essentials for keeping veterinary clinics up-to-date with new developments.

    Launched at the annual New Zealand Veterinary Association conference, the portal offers broad training across all aspects of veterinary practice – for free.

    It’s available to all New Zealand veterinary practices wanting to keep up-to-date with the latest in product development, new clinical information and business or retailing advice.

    Bayer New Zealand managing director Derek Bartlett says the portal represents a new level of training for vet practices because it caters to everyone.

    “Many online training portals focus on new products or information for vets only. We’ve taken it a step further and incorporated training modules for other vet clinic staff – the support staff, vet nurses, technicians and managers who are all an important part of keeping a veterinary business going.

    “We really wanted to provide easy access to the most relevant information to enable vets to improve their practices – both technically and from a business point of view – at no charge,” adds Bartlett.

    Courses cover information relevant to both farm animal and companion animal vets as well as mixed vet practices.

    Well-known and respected industry vets, including learning and development specialist, Dr Lab Wilson, have designed some of the courses.

    “Current thinking in learning and development circles recognises the value in training that allows busy people access to ‘just-in-time’ learning in bite-sized chunks.

    “VetSpace provides this specifically for veterinary practice enabling practice personnel to learn what they want, how they want and when they need,” says Dr Wilson.

    He also adds that keeping up-to-date is not only an ethical obligation, but is also essential in providing a high level of service and ensuring best practice standards are maintained.

    Derek Bartlett says VetSpace will offer about eight courses to start with and have new courses added regularly.

    They include:

    1. Worm lifecycle: Sheep & Cattle by Dr Lab Wilson, BVSc MANZCVS

    2. Lungworm: New updates for an old disease by Dr Pru Galloway, BVSc [distinction], MANZCVS, FANZCVS,

    3. Communication tips to increase owner compliance by Dr. Liz Watkins BVSc MRCVS

    4. The Facts about Flea by Dr Bob Rees, Bayer Animal Health

    5. Online Marketing for Clinics by Dr James Ramsden,

    6. Advantage – “No Bite is right!” by Bayer Animal Health

    7. Collar fleas and ticks with Seresto® by Bayer Animal Health

    8. Bringing you up to date: Selenium by Dr. Scott Oliver Knowles MSc, PhD & Dr. Neville D. Grace MAgSc, PhD

    9. Bringing you up to date: Cobalt by Dr. Scott Oliver Knowles MSc, PhD & Dr. Neville D. Grace MAgSc, PhD.

    The courses can also go towards annual CPD (continuing professional development) points.

    Register for VetSpace at http://vetspace.co.nz

    This article was originally sourced from Scoop Business.

  • 21 Jun 2017 11:27 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Airline pilots are increasingly worried about drones and want tighter regulations around their use.

    A review of Civil Aviation Authority rules is about to start and the New Zealand Airline Pilots' Association says it needs to be extensive.

    Association president Tim Robinson said the number of incidents around New Zealand airports had increased during the last 12 months. Passenger aircraft had experienced near-misses at Christchurch and Queenstown.

    ''We know the Civil Aviation Authority is about to undertake that review. It needs to be extensive and it needs to include all stakeholders in the industry,'' he said.

    Drone users flying in controlled airspace - such as around airports - need to receive clearance from Air Traffic Control. The association supports registration of drones.

    ''We're not anti-drones - we want to see their development safety into the New Zealand aviation system,'' said Robinson.

    ''We see them as having huge economic benefit for our country. We recognise that we're a bit of a test bed and the regulations have been fairly flexible - but now they've been operating for a couple of years we're starting to see the complaints and incidents increase and we need to see a tightening of regulations.''

    Pilots are not the only group worried. OceanaGold, which owns the Martha Mine in Waihi, has warned that drone operators are endangering helicopters associated with its operation.

    One recent posting on social media showing video of Waihi town was clearly well above 400 feet and staff estimated would have been at a height of least 1500 feet.

    "That's a real worry for us as we regularly have helicopters flying in the Waihi area. That puts a recreational drone and an aircraft in the same airspace,'' the company said in a community newsletter.

    This article was originally sourced from NZ Herald

  • 21 Jun 2017 11:17 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The CEO of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) has foreshadowed the release later this month of an industry report into IoT saying that better application of IoT to dairy farming alone could bring benefits of $NZ448 million.

    Graeme Muller, who also chairs the recently formed IoT Alliance —launched in March as one of several new initiatives set out in the government’s Building a Digital Nation report — said the project was being managed by the IoT Alliance and brought together major tech users, tech firms, the government, academia and industry groups such as NZTech, the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and InternetNZ.

    Muller said IoT would soon become critical to helping New Zealand raise its productivity and prosperity.

    “Much of the initial hype around IoT has been derived from consumer IoT such as fitness trackers and intelligent fridges. The real value to be had from the Internet of Things is in enterprise and government applications,” he said.

    He called on the Government to “act as a catalyst and to ensure all the right building blocks like security and connectivity remain in place.”

    He said initial economic analysis had identified potential economic benefits in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the New Zealand economy through the deployment of IoT in sectors as diverse as agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, logistics and smart city services.

    Agriculture urged to adopt IoT

    Muller earlier this month issued another teaser for the forthcoming report — due out on 29 June — calling on New Zealand’s agriculture industry to latch on to technology faster to support economic growth and become a world leader in a fast growing agritech market.

    That followed NZTech last September teaming up with the Precision Agriculture Association NZ to help New Zealand’s agriculture sector make better use of all kinds of technology.

    Muller comment came during Fieldays, New Zealand’s major agricultural event at which the ANZ Bank’s rural economist, Con Williams, warned about a digital tsunami hitting the primary industries and which saw the launch of a significant agricultural IoT project.

    Williams said the number of apps and innovations designed to help improve agricultural businesses had exploded in recent years and he called on farmers and growers to “embrace the changes new technology brings as they are all aimed at increasing the bottom line, and perhaps just as importantly, making it easier to do business.”

    ANZ said its Innovation Pavilion at Fieldays gave visitors “a feel everything from health and safety apps, farm management, finance and compliance through to robotic fruit pickers and drone technology.”

    Connected Farms pilot

    Also on show at Fieldays was a pilot of an IoT project for farms led by NZ telco, Spark, Farmlands, Ballance AgriNutrients and the National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere (NIWA).

    According to a blog post on the NZTech web site the pilot started in April with 40 farms in the Matamata-Piako region and 20 farms to in the South Island and is delivering connectivity to farms through an on-farm Wi-Fi mesh network connected to the Internet via Spark’s 4G network and a low power wide area network based on LoRaWAN technology.

    It is demonstrating how farmers can get real-time information about their farm through an array of sensors and analyse the data in real time to support farm decisions.

    This article was originally sourced from IoTHub

  • 20 Jun 2017 2:13 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The Penalty Rates Decision, which was handed down on February 23rd of this year, marked a historic moment for Australian legislation. FCB Group, Australia’s top employment law firm, led the case for the ARA, resulting in a victory for retailers and small to medium businesses alike. We caught up with the team at FCB to get the inside story on their path to victory:

    Background

    Success for employers in these types of award cases are rare, and large wins in relation to the General Retail Industry Award 2010 are next to impossible. So, how did the landmark Penalty Rates reduction decision come to pass? We are able to provide valuable insight into how the case unfolded because we were involved every step of the way. FCB Workplace Law, acted on behalf of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the retail industry, in this historic case. And we put the win down to three things – unity, funding and quality.

    The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), the retail union, has historically dedicated significant resources to defend changes to retail awards, have consistently out-spent employer groups and, quite simply, have previously run better cases. FCB and the ARA propositioned to the rest of the retail industry that if we weren’t able to fund a single, unified case, with high quality representation in the 2014 Review, the existing Sunday penalty rate structure would be entrenched. The industry, and all of the retail associations, agreed to work together to fund the case, so we commenced planning.

    Case strategy

    When planning these cases, or planning any litigation, the key is to start with the evidentiary contentions, which are the findings you want your evidence to support, that you want the Court or Commission to accept. These are drawn from elements of the relevant legislation and case law. In the Penalty Rates case our contentions needed to assist the FWC with their role in balancing the impact of a reduction in penalty rates on retail employees against the benefits in terms of employment and the performance of the retail industry.

    What we wanted the FWC to accept (based on our evidence), was that existing Sunday Penalty Rates were the key reason retail employers limit available hours, and therefore, employment opportunities. Our evidence would support the contention that a reduction in the rates would allow retail employers to overcome these limits and could align Sunday operations more closely to other days. We also wanted the FWC to accept that people work on Sundays for a variety of reasons, and that despite the fact that reducing Sunday penalties would have a negative impact on employees, the existing penalty was overcompensating them for the disabilities associated with Sunday work. Finally, we needed to convince the FWC that at least part of the reduction in Sunday rates would be offset by additional hours offered to existing employees. To make these arguments we needed evidence, and traditionally it has been difficult to find enough employers prepared to step forward to provide it. To counter this challenge we would develop common threads between expert, survey and individual employer evidence to enable us to put our contentions to the FWC in a compelling way.

    Case conduct

    We commenced with an expert report identifying what retail employers were currently doing with Sunday rostering and how this would change if the penalty rate was reduced. Next we collaborated with other parties to present survey evidence to support this report and presented direct evidence from retail employers across a variety of geographical locations, size and retail categories. Armed with this we presented our evidentiary contentions based on the common threads arising from this evidence, and the FWC accepted them.

    FCB and ARA also needed to address the issue of employee preferences and the problems employees associated with Sunday work, knowing the unions would present a vast amount of evidence regarding this. In addition, we needed to convince the FWC that reducing the Sunday penalty rate would not cause the industry difficulties in sourcing sufficient employees prepared to work on Sundays at that reduced rate.

    While our retail specific expert report, survey results and focus group findings identified some of the disabilities associated with Sunday work, it also showed that employees were prepared to work for lower penalty rates and had chosen to work on Sundays because it suited them, with very few being forced to work on Sundays. This was crucial in countering evidence presented by the unions about employee choice and preference. We were able to put to the SDA expert and lay witnesses in cross examination contentions regarding the freedom they had to accept or reject Sunday work, and their preparedness to continue to work on Sundays at a lower penalty rate. Almost across the board those witnesses confirmed the contentions.

    The Outcome

    On Thursday, 23 February 2017 a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued its decision in the Penalty Rates case. In an historic ruling, the Full Bench determined that the Sunday and Public Holiday penalties in a number of modern awards would be varied.

    The Transition

    While the win for the retail industry is unprecedented, there were a number of matters to be resolved before the case is finalised. The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) had to decide how the rates would transition. The Commission determined that Sunday penalty rates will be reduced via a four (4) stage transition for permanent staff, and a three (3) stage transition for casual staff in the Retail industry. The Commission has also confirmed that Take Home Pay Orders are not available to employees impacted by the reductions, and that there will be no “red-circling” or “grandfathering” of existing employees.

    The table below sets out the way the Sunday penalty rate reduction will transition:

    General Retail Industry Award 2010

     Category  Previous  1 July 17  1 July 18 1 July 19 1 July 20 
     Permanent Sunday  200% 195% 180%  165%  150% 
     Casual Sunday  200% 195% 185%  175% 

    Hospitality Industry Award 2010

    Category Previous  1 July 17  1 July 18  1 July 19 
    Permanent Sunday 175%  170%  160%  150% 

    Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

     Category  Previous 1 July 17  1 July 18 1 July 19  1 July 20 
     Permanent Sunday 200% 195% 180% 165%  150% 
     Casual Sunday 225%   220% 205%  190% 175% 

    Fast Food Industry Award 2010

     Category Previous  1 July 17  1 July 18  1 July 19 
    Permanent Sunday (Level 1)   150% 145%  135%  125%
    Casual Sunday (Level 1)  175% 170%  160%  150% 


    The Commission also confirmed that the reductions in public holiday penalty rates will commence in full from 1 July 2017. Those reductions are:

     Award Permanent Penalty Casual Penalty Old/New 
    General Retail Industry Award 2010  225  275/250 
    Hospitality Industry Award 2010 225 275/250 
    Pharmacy Industry Award 2010  225  275/250 
    Fast Food Industry Award 2010 225  275/250 
    Restaurant Industry Award 2010  225  250 (no change) 


    What does this mean?

    The Penalty Rates Reduction Case was a huge win for small businesses all throughout Australia. Currently, most franchises and large businesses are covered by an Enterprise Agreement, and therefore enjoy reduced penalty rates already. This case seeks to level the playing field, allowing for small businesses to flourish and create more diversity in the marketplace. For employees, we will see increased Sunday and Public holiday employment opportunities, with more businesses with capacity to roster on more hours.

    If you would like assistance wth any of these matters, call FCB Group on (02) 9922 5188 or (03) 9098 9400.

  • 20 Jun 2017 1:47 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    In the “Ultimate Sales Machine”, Chet Holmes mentions that only 3% of your target market is ready to buy! 7% of your target market is open to buying but not looking, 30% of your market is comfortable with the status quo and 30% of your market believes they aren’t interested.

    When it comes to LinkedIn marketing and social selling, where do you think everyone’s focus is? It’s on the top 3% of the market meaning they’re missing out on 67% more opportunities that my clients (like Schneider) are getting with a 40% to 70% improved chance of closing.

    How sales & marketing professionals and social media lead generation companies are focused on only 3% of the target market…

    In a recent article, SAP’s Nicholas Kontopoulos mentioned that social selling has become another form of spam! He wrote: “Social media is now just amplifying the bad selling behaviors of salespeople. Where a bad salesperson could deter dozens of potential customers, social platforms allow the same person to reach thousands of people…with the same one-night stand, transactional mentality and message.”

    You see LinkedIn marketing and social selling has become a volume play. The focus is on how many connections are being made, how many prospects are joining the LinkedIn community, how many views the content is generating, how much website traffic are they getting, how many people are being reached with messages. They’re focused on how many people are being added to the pipeline even if they aren’t validated and qualified. They’re focused on lead generation even though most leads go nowhere – when the focus should be on prospect development.

    Even social media experts are talking about social media being a volume play.

    The majority of social media and social selling experts are coaching clients and followers to take a templated approach that lacks relevance to try to book as many calls and sales conversations as you possibly can. For example a digital sales prospecting trainer and coach, teaches clients to use templates like:

    Hi, Sam.

    How are you adding new capability to your ______________ [insert area of business your product addresses] at any time soon or in future? I work with organizations like _______ [prospect’s business] to make sure ________ [goal]. Would you like to quickly explore, via email, if a larger conversation makes sense? Please let me know what you decide.

    So, instead of taking an account based marketing approach and focusing on issues that are relevant to targeted organizations. key decision makers and influencers, sales, marketing and social media lead generation firms using this approach are hoping that if they send it out to enough people, it will be relevant to someone and stick. They are focused on “trying” to hit that 3% of the market – the people that are most likely ready to buy now. If those leads that may or may not be part of the 3% of the market do not move forward, then you have a high cost for business growth. And, your efforts on LinkedIn are nothing more than a cost center. It doesn’t matter how low your cost-per-lead is if leads are being stuck at the top-of-the-funnel. It’s still a cost and investment that isn’t leading to revenue!

    Social media firm focuses on lead goals even though the leads they delivered went nowhere!

    As I share in this cost-per-lead post, I recently spoke to the President and CMO of a logistics company – and they were both so focused on how many leads we are able to deliver on a weekly and monthly basis. They proceeded to tell me how another social media lead generation firm was delivering 5 to 10 leads for sales calls per week.

    However, those sales leads they were delivering sucked! 90% of the calls were with prospects who were not in the right stage of the buying process at this time – or they were with people who were not even a decision maker or influencer. The people who said “yes” to a call was just looking for free information, to network – and maybe refer the company. What good were those leads if there were no relationships being created and leveraged to create revenue opportunities?

    How sales and marketing can capture 67% more opportunities instead of just leads that go nowhere

    1. Focus on relevance across all levels using an account based sales and marketing approach

    Adding the person’s name or position to a message or talking about their industry does not make you relevant. When you’re engaging in prospect development, you’re not just relevant on one or two levels – you’re relevant to the industry, to the company, to the person’s role and to the individual decision maker or influencer.

    Being relevant to each key decision maker and opening doors with different demand units is what account based sales and marketing is about. It’s how you can forge stronger connections within individual people within potential customer organizations. Remember, developing relationships require getting to know the potential customer and demonstrating how you can bring relevant value to them. This is how you’ll move those that are indifferent or think they are not interested in your solution.

    2. Engage in marketing for sales alignment:

    Marketers who go beyond lead generation and focus on Sales and Marketing alignment to achieve revenue goals using LinkedIn can prove a clearer, stronger social media ROI. By providing rich insights into buyers, their companies, and their territories, marketers enable sales to better prioritize their efforts. And by focusing on relationships and how to leverage them, marketers can become the social bridge between buyers and sales. They can help build familiarity between salespeople and their customers. Together, sales and marketing can improve sales effectiveness using LinkedIn.

    But marketing has to use its influence on LinkedIn and become more of a sales enabler – and support sales in a more meaningful way so they can close deals.. There can’t be these silos anymore where marketing is focused on the company page, sponsored updates and the solutions that LinkedIn Marketing Solutions provides and relying on sales to make the relationships. Marketing needs to become a sales enabler on LinkedIn by focusing on the complete awareness to revenue customer life-cycle that includes a set of psychological transitions where customers become aware of, evaluate, like, advocate and invest in a specific product or service. We need to go beyond the awareness tactics that social media and digital marketing executives take and meld traditional marketing with LinkedIn to increase the percentages of transitions as well as increase the speed at which they transition.

    3. Focus on breaking down the potential customer’s status quo

    When going beyond the 3% of the market that is ready to buy, you have to spend time breaking down the customer’s status quo. As the CEB mentions in their Challenger Demand Gen Marketer Role Guide, “Without breaking down the status quo, potential customers may engage with your content, talk to your sales reps and nod along. But ultimately. they won’t take the hard actions to drive consensus and take the next steps toward investing in your solution.”

    It’s not enough to just challenge prospects and show them a new approach. You need to give prospects a reason to change. For a positioning and messaging firm client, we were only able to help the firm gain clients once the firm’s President was able to show sales and marketing how their positioning and messaging was affecting sales and marketing performance – especially in the areas that were high on the priority list. Once we were able to target specific companies with specific positioning and messaging issues and show sales and marketing leaders why they needed to change, the firm gained clients like Membrain, Mariner Partners, Shift Energy, Idea5, Rocket Software and SmartOrg.

    4. Don’t optimize content for social media engagement

    When you’re optimizing content for social media engagement, you’re optimizing it for reach. You’re optimizing the content for top of the funnel awareness which may attract that top 3% of the market that is ready to buy – but it won’t move the other 67% of the market. As the CEB mentions, you want to optimize your content for consumption of disruption or, in other words, focus on how your content is driving changes in thoughts and actions.

    5. Focus on lead validation and qualification

    The CEO of a popular social selling firm tells clients:

    “With each new connection, determine if they are someone you’d like to speak with and tweak the LinkedIn message slightly: NAME, it is nice to be connected on LinkedIn. Typically I like to have a brief call with my new connections so we can explore ways we might be able to work together now or in the future. Here is a link to my calendar: xxxxxxxx. Please pick a time that is most convenient for you. I am looking forward to our call.”

    So she’s telling business leaders and sales and marketing professionals to go for the call–don’t worry about lead qualification and validation. She’s saying don’t worry if they haven’t seen your value yet and that you haven’t demonstrated your relevance. Don’t worry if you haven’t identified a need yet and don’t worry if they are not in the right buying stage. This shotgun thinking assumes that getting the sales information “out there” may eventually lead to a sale. But all it really does is cost you time and money.

    This article was originally sourced from Business 2 Community

  • 20 Jun 2017 1:39 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Tapping into Reddit’s many niche communities could be a valuable source of market research for your organization. 

    Reddit is a behemoth of a website with millions of daily users. According to Alexa, it is the fourth-most-popular website in the United States. If you have a passing familiarity with the site, you might think it’s a time-waster made up of funny GIFs and dog memes, but with more than 50,000 distinct communities called subreddits, Reddit holds a treasure trove of information for your organization.

    Hootsuite provides a handy how-to guide for using Reddit as a resource for market research.

    The key is to find the most relevant subreddits for your organization. For instance, marketers from a diabetes-related association will want to search for subreddits about diabetes, of which there could be dozens of communities. Once you’ve found the relevant subreddits, do some keyword research about your organization to get honest sentiments about your group.

    “It’s easy to forget that the public has much different experiences than we do inside the walls of a marketing department,” writes James Mulvey. “Reddit is amazing for revealing unfiltered opinions about brands, products, industries, and categories.”

    Hootsuite provides specific direction for how to analyze and monitor a variety of subreddits like you would any other social listening channel.

    It’s that time of year again! The annual Internet Trends report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker is out. It’s chock-full of need-to-know information about online advertising, media, and more.

    AdWeek shares several highlights from this year’s report, including the fact that internet ad spending eclipsed television spending for the first time in 2016. “Of the internet ad spending, Google and Facebook continued to take the lion’s share, accounting for 85 percent of all growth in the U.S.,” writes Marty Swant.

    While the growth of internet users is expected to stay flat, adults are spending more time with digital media, increasing to 5.6 hours per day in 2016.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now

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