Employers eye computer services, payroll for outsourcing

Computer services and payroll are most likely to be outsourced by employers, who are generally calm about the effect of MMP on business.

Computer services and payroll are most likely to be outsourced by employers, who are generally calm about the effect of MMP on business but not entirely happy with current ACC legislation. These are some of the findings in the 1996 Lampen salary survey.

The annual survey--which has being going for some 11 years--looks at ranges of salaries and the average salary for different types of jobs in different areas of the country, and gathers figures on staff turnover, redundancies, new permanent positions created, outsourcing, health and safety act provisions, and the training and use of temporary staff. This year it also asked employers if they thought MMP would affect employment patterns.

One finding of the survey was that Auckland seems to be behind the rest of the country in providing Internet access for staff. Forty-four percent of employers in the Auckland central business district and 31% in the Auckland region provide Internet access to staff, whereas 47% of Christchurch and 61% of Wellington employers surveyed said they gave employees Internet access.

Christchurch and Auckland employers were calm about the role MMP is to play in the future of the workplace, with 86% and 88% respectively believing there will be no changes to employment because of MMP. However, they are less certain about what the election will do to the Employment Contracts Act. “It is believed MMP will create uncertainty and instability in the private sector and possibly a reduction in the job market,” the survey says.

In Wellington, fewer employers (62%) thought there would be any change due to the new electoral system but changes anticipated were “uncertainty/instability, changes to the Employment Contracts Act and increasing conservatism by organisations as they reacted to uncertainty surrounding the election outcome”.

Legislation many employers wouldn’t mind having dismantled is the current ACC legislation. In Auckland 23% of employers stated levies are too high when compared to the size and organisation of their business and in relation to their claims record. Lampen found this is forcing businesses to focus much more on the guidelines of the Health and Safety in Employment Act in order to minimise their claims, and there was a positive response to the rehabilitation programmes available.

Twenty percent said the laws had little or no impact on their organisation. Lampen says Wellington showed similar trends to Auckland. 19% of Christchurch employers surveyed said levies were too high and were concerned about the amount of claims for non-work injuries and the amount of administration hours and costs needed to comply with legislation.

In Christchurch and Auckland the services most likely to be outsourced by employers are computer and payroll work. Other areas are marketing, training, maintenance, recruitment and accounting services.

“The primary explanation for outsourcing service areas is access to specialists and expertise when required. This in turn leads to cost efficiencies and effective utilisation of permanently employed skills. A focus on core competencies means permanent staff remain focused, while outsourced services can work on special projects with flexibility, speed and reliability.”

Wellington employers tended to outsource fewer areas of work--payroll and photocopying/printing was outsourced 10-12% and IT areas outsourced by 19% of those surveyed. Redundancies in Auckland central were experienced by 19% of employers and 30% of employers in regional Auckland. 46% of Wellington employers experienced redundancy over the past 12 months. 19% of Christchurch employers had four or less redundancies in that time with 74% of Christchurch employers having no redundancies at all in the last 12 months.

In Auckland the areas of employment with most frequent redundancies are sales and marketing, management and secretarial roles. Administration, secretarial and sales and marketing jobs were also the main areas with most staff turnover in Auckland.

In Wellington the highest rates of redundancies in the survey were in management, clerical work and office/administration. In Christchurch the most frequent job layoffs occurred in administration, sales and marketing.

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