Good quality housing = good staff
It certainly is clear that good housing is a must to attract good staff – which is why we are building the new house. We are aware of quite a serious labour shortage across the board. The expansion into dairy in the South Island has a roll-on effect in both labour and cows in the North Island, so employers must react accordingly.
Expectations too high or just right?
If you are worried about people coming in and wrecking a place then should you really be employing them to look after your biggest asset – your farm?!
You need to look at your recruitment process – did you go and have a look at where they were currently living? etc.
I also think that some people are unrealistic and expect the houses to look as good as they did the day they were built – not taking into account wear and tear. And also we ourselves may have high standards of housekeeping which others may or may not share.
Standards have improved greatly over the years – gone are the days where staff were expected to put up and shut up and houses were terrible. Now I think it has become the other way around! But we always need to be mindful of the big picture – is the job being done well?
We have 2 lovely homes for staff on our farm. I have the opinion that if I couldn’t live in the house then I couldn’t expect staff, sharemilkers etc, to. I think this attitude has paid dividends as the job always gets the “tick” of approval on the house front.
Dishwashers are in each house ? it is a must in my opinion. Some years we have employed families others single people and all appreciate a dishwasher
We have always had our own dishwasher as sharemilkers, and it goes with us when we shift. We would love a job with a gorgeous kitchen fully equipped with all the latest, but on the other side of the coin, I probably won’t be providing that to our workers or managers when we buy a farm.
It’s so easy for people to look great and then destroy everything in the house, it’s not worth the expense it would take.
Staff can easily get their own dishwasher and I will leave a space for it!
By law all workplaces had to be smoke free. That includes the accommodation if they share with other workers.
Our staff are restricted to smoking on their accommodation patio, on the tanker track (winter only) or outside the farm gate.
The houses were made smoke free a number of years ago – the damage it saves carpets, drapes and walls is obvious and no staff has ever questioned it as it is a very normal condition of tenancy regardless of where they rent.
One thing you may all wish to be aware of in regard to these tenancy Agreements, is that you must make it quiet clear in your Employees Agreement that this is a “Service Tenancy Agreement” NOT a “Tenancy Agreement” as there is a loop hole here for staff if they resign or wish to leave the job and have no where else to go immediately, and you have a Tenancy Agreement with them, they are legally entitled to stay in the house for 42 days. With a Service Tenancy Agreement, they must be out within 3 days as you require the housing for work purposes.
I thought I’d share with you all an experience that we had with one of our employees which I am sure has crossed no-ones minds -sub letting !! We only had our staff member and his wife in our house and we had a small batch out the back so they decided to rent out the batch to a local mechanic for $50 a week, needless to say we did not see any of that money and luckily the situation resolved itself before the situation became unpleasant ( the mechanics wife took him back !!) but it certainly opened our eyes to what could happen and every contract since has had the clause in it that stipulates the house is for the use of the employee and his or her immediate family only.
Bonds aren’t compulsory, though you can ask for a bond of up to four weeks’ rent. The money is held by the Bond Centre of the Tenancy Tribunal and can be claimed back at the end of the tenancy when the house owner has inspected and approved the condition the house has been left in.
Accommodation and Housing – General
Click here to read: 05 Aug 2008 Housing inspections
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, here’s how we have changed our system for something simple that works for us!
Click here to read: 05 Aug 2008 Sharemilkers and their workers
Who is responsible for what?
Useful website links
- BNZ Partners Whatever you want from your home loan, you’ll find a BNZ option to help you be better off
- Housing New Zealand Advice and information for Landlords and Tenants
- Consumer Build Independent advice on building, buying, maintaining and renovating homes
- Smarter Homes Information on Building Efficient Homes
- New Zealand Green Building Council Thinking of going green? find out more here
- Sustainability The Government guide to sustainability
- Citizens Advice Bureau Need advice or information, CAB is a free resource for Landlords or Tenants
- Dept. of Building and Housing Tenancy Agreements
- Federated Farmers Resources on Tenancy Agreements