No immediate action on the de minimis

  • Opinion
  • July 5, 2016
  • Scott Fisher
No immediate action on the de minimis
July marks half the year gone and on the horizon we can see Xmas already (or at least the planning for it).
I don’t like to start on a negative but we are not happy and you shouldn’t be either.  You may have seen in the news last week that the Government has announced that it is not taking any immediate action to reduce or remove the de minimis (GST/duty) threshold.  The playing field is still not level!  This is unacceptable as it makes it hard for many small retailers throughout the country and is disappointing news for all retailers. Online retail is here to stay, and we embrace it for the retail opportunity it presents.  However, it’s unacceptable that the Government effectively subsidises businesses like Amazon and creates a minimum 15 percent price disadvantage for Kiwi shopping websites and bricks & mortar stores.
We encourage you to write to the Government to let them know what you think.  We know you are busy so you can find a template letter you can use here. We will continue our fight on your behalf to make sure this issue becomes a priority and is dealt with properly by the Government.
Thanks to everyone that took part in our annual Wages Survey, we had another good response this year and are pleased it continues to be a useful tool for our members. Everyone that took the survey should now have received their free copy of a report summarising the results.  Overall the survey showed that the average retail wage rose 3.5 percent to $20.74 in 2016. This is up on the increase recorded last year.  Those Members that didn’t take the survey, but would still like a copy of the report, can purchase it for $95 (ex GST). Non-members can purchase the report for  $195 (ex. GST).
An interesting article in our latest issue of Talking Shop highlights a recent case that went through the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) and stresses the need to follow a proper process when dismissing staff using the 90 day trial clause. The ERA recently upheld a personal grievance raised by an employee on a 90 day trial period, who was dismissed without being told that there were issues with her performance.  This failure cost the employer $7,000.  Remember that we have a wide range of guidelines and templates available to you to make things easier. For example, recruitment templates, employment agreements and guides on a number of common tricky issues for retailers. Members can now request these anytime from our website.
Our Retail Radar survey is now open. Did you meet your sales targets over the past three months? Do you see black clouds or sunshine on the horizon? Are your prices going up or down? We’d love to hear from you! This is your chance to tell us how things are going in your business. It is a very quick simple survey, and can help you benchmark your business performance. We encourage everyone with a few minutes spare to take part as the more we all know about our industry the better we can prepare.
Scott Fisher is Retail NZ’s acting CEO. With a commercial and marketing background across many industries, including retail and membership, Scott leads a professional and committed team that represents and helps retailers in New Zealand. This story originally appeared on Retail NZ's blog.

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