Welcome to our May 2021 newsletter and I trust that you are keeping safe and well.
It’s always good to see a plan come to fruition, even if the initial delivery is a bit later than originally planned!
In February 2020 we secured a funding grant from the Ministry of Education (MOE) under a programme designed to “provide opportunities for young people to connect to the world of work and explore industry specific careers while in school to enhance their perspectives on vocational education and while you learn pathways”.
The grant was to cover our hosting security career events at 10 lower decile secondary schools throughout the country, starting in July 2020 and concluding June 2021. Unfortunately, Covid and the resulting lockdowns caused an initial delay in scheduling the visits and once schooling did return to some semblance of normal, the focus quite correctly was on assisting students with catching up on their learning and preparation for exams.
Thankfully MOE were happy to hold the funding arrangements over and we were able to commence our security career events during April, albeit with our 10 visits now condensed into a three month window.
During April, NZSA National Manager Training and Employment Services, Andrea Charlton, visited schools located in Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Christchurch. The visits were coordinated with the school career advisors and included an introductory presentation and overview of the Security Careers website (www.securitycareers.co.nz), presentations from several member employees talking about their careers and what they enjoy about the security industry, and a demonstration and controlled use of the new Virtual Reality (VR) training platform for the mandatory training.
The reception from those attending was fantastic and with many of the students indicating they would certainly consider security as a viable career option when they complete their schooling. What was also very evident was how the students related to the VR training platform and their natural affinity towards the use of new technology. They were able to pick up and use the headsets without the need for induction and instinctively started to follow and demonstrate the desired actions around positioning, stance and use of de-escalation techniques. I mentioned this to my son-in-law who works in the IT field and he related it to digital natives versus digital immigrants and I know which side I sit on!
I would also like to thank the employees of our members who came along to talk to the students. Their presentations were both inspiring and motivating and it was patently clear that they took great pride and pleasure in their jobs.
Covid-19 vaccine rollout
In our last newsletter I advised that we had been communicating with the Ministry of Health to ensure that security workers (other than those working at the borders and quarantine facilities) were being prioritised in the rollout plan along with other essential service workers.
We were advised at that time that the individual District Health Boards would be overseeing the vaccine programme within their own regions and that indicative plans and timelines would be made available well prior to the proposed rollout during May.
Unfortunately we are now into May and all communication with the Ministry appears to have dried up and we, along with other industry sectors with essential service workers, are operating in a void as to when or even how the rollout will be facilitated. From media reports concerning vaccinating of the elderly there appears to be significant differences in the capability and capacity of the District Health Boards and from some reporting it would appear that some regions may be six to eight weeks behind the original target dates.
We will continue to seek further information on this and will communicate any updates upon receipt.
New Zealand Register of Security Professionals
Our original plan to have the feasibility study on the creation and implementation of a Register of Security Professionals completed by the end of April hit a bit of a snag when the Skills employee conducting the study left his employment to return to his previous employer.
Whilst the feasibility study is near completion, there are some findings and assumptions that require further analysis and investigation and additional questions that need to be researched, so the NZSA Board has determined that the target date for the final report will now be extended to 30 June.
Schedule 1A Employment Relations Act 2000 – Security Officers
Government has passed an Order In Council, with effect 1 July 2021, that will see an extension of Part 6A of Schedule 1A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 to include Security Officers.
Effectively this now means that Security Officers (defined as property guards, monitoring operators, crowd controllers, mobile security patrols and cash-in-transit officers) are recognised as Vulnerable Employees and are given protections when their employment is impacted by restructuring that results in the contract for service shifting to another provider or taken in-house.
In these situations there is an obligation on the new party providing the service to offer employment to the incumbent employees on terms and conditions no less favourable that they currently enjoy. This includes the transfer of leave and service entitlements and also prevents subsequent restructuring such as reduced hours or payments.
Based on the experience of other industry sectors covered by Schedule 1A, it is very probable that this will have a significant impact onto those providing personnel security services. MBIE have advised that they will be preparing guidance material for distribution prior to the Order coming into effect on 1 July. We have also been working with our counterparts at the BSCNZ (Building Service Contractors NZ) to get an understanding of the issues likely to be faced and to ensure that we have template documentation and reports ready to rollout to assist our members once the MBIE materials are received.
Watch out for more communications on this matter. You can view information about this topic on the Employment website.
Media reports of licensed gang members
Over recent months there have been several reports in the media with regards to gang members being employed unknowingly by security providers. This obviously raises questions about the effectiveness of licensing checks and in particular, what measures can be taken to restrict the ability of gang associates who do not hold convictions (often referred to as clean skins) to obtain a certificate of approval.
I can advise that our Registrar is well aware of the concerns and has been working closely with the NZ Police to ensure processes and communications are as stringent and robust as possible and this is evidenced by an increasing number of Police objections to licence applications and in declined applications.
It is also important to note that security providers have an important role to play in this area. Where an employer becomes aware of an individual who holds a certificate of approval but does not meet the qualifying criteria for a fit and proper person, there is a moral obligation on them to lodge a complaint with the PSPLA seeking removal of the individual’s licence (certificate of approval).
The complaint process is not particularly onerous and can be done online with the PSPLA, however where the employer would prefer to maintain their anonymity (complainants details are disclosed) I am happy for them to forward the information and any supporting evidence to my attention and I can file the complaint under my name.
Virtual Reality Security Training Plaform
As advised in our last newsletter, the VR Security Training Platform has been jointly developed by JBA (Joy Business Academy) and NZSA in partnership with MSD and will form a key component of the wider SkillsVR offering being developed in conjunction with MSD.
Over the last few weeks we have seen our first learners successfully complete their mandatory training through the platform and with our first two security providers signed up, learner volumes will be scaled up during the coming months.
For further information on the SkillsVR Security Training Platform or to arrange a live or online demonstration, please contact Chris Thomas on 021 771 173 or [email protected].
PSPLA and workplace investigations
A recent legal decision has ruled that consultants offering workplace investigation services must be licensed as private investigators under the PSP&PI Act unless they hold another equivalent accreditation. Those conducting in-house investigations are also exempt.
Under the Act, any person or business that takes money to obtain and supply information (other than that in public records) relating to the character, actions or behaviour of others, is deemed to be a private investigator and this potentially has significant impact on those in the employment, health and safety sectors.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Both the Security Training and Professional Development SIG and the Crowded Places Strategy SIG have been active over recent months and whilst neither have significant developments to announce at this time, they provide an important conduit for the NZSA in tapping into the experience and knowledge that sits within our industry, and in ensuring that we continue to focus on the issues that are important to our stakeholders.
For the Security Training and Professional Development SIG, one of the highest priorities for this year will be looking at how we can raise industry standards by improving the quality, accessibility and uptake of industry training and with a greater awareness of literacy and numeracy competency, and ways that we can assist in improving this, as a critical part of the process.
Given that the Crowded Places Strategy SIG was only formed earlier this year, the immediate focus is on determining the structure of the group and how we will interact with government agencies, clearly defining our mission and objectives and capturing a concise overview of our initial group discussions.
If you have a particular interest in either the Training or Crowded Places sectors and feel that you can add value to the groups, please contact me on [email protected] or 021 122 9606 for more information.
Employment Relations Authority decision warning
In March of this year the NZ Herald reported a recent controversial ruling by the Employment Relations Authority that unless overturned could have major ramifications for many employers, including those in the security industry.
The ERA decision found that Restaurant Brands had unjustifiably dismissed Dilshaad Gill from his job as assistant general manager of one of its restaurants. Restaurant Brands was ordered to pay Mr Gill $18,000 for hurt and humiliation.
Restaurant Brands had helped Mr Gill apply for an employer-assisted work visa in 2017, which expired in March 2019. It told him to reapply for his position when his visa was close to expiry, then said he was unsuccessful because they had offered the job to a New Zealand citizen. Their decision was inline with immigration law, which requires that employers only offer jobs to those on skilled visas if they can prove there are no New Zealanders available and capable to fill the job. If they had simply reapplied for Mr Gill’s visa they would have breached immigration law.
The ERA determined however that Mr Gill was a permanent employee and Restaurant Brands should have gone through the visa process with him or should have told him sooner that they were not supporting his application.
Restaurant Brands have appealed the decision and we will monitor progress and communicate the outcome.
As always, we welcome all comments and feedback on NZSA or industry issues and activity.
Keep safe and well.
New Zealand Security Awards
20 August 2021 – Christchurch Town Hall
This year’s Awards ceremony will be held in Christchurch on Friday 20 August. Make sure you save the date!
We are pleased to confirm Gallagher as our Event Sponsor but we have other sponsorship options available and would welcome discussion with parties interested in sponsoring the Awards. Please contact Gary on [email protected] or 022 122 9606 or Tacia on [email protected] or 027 381 7724.
We will notify via email regarding nomination and registration dates. If you know of anybody who doesn’t receive our newsletter but would be interested in nominating someone for the Awards they can subscribe on our website.
Monday 10 May – 12.00 to 1.00pm
Russell McVeagh will be presenting a webinar on the laws prohibiting anti-competitive conduct by businesses (being the laws that are contained in the Commerce Act and enforced by the Commerce Commission). This webinar will include an overview of the prohibition on cartel conduct between competitors (which is now a criminal offence subject to imprisonment) and guardrails and tips for NZSA members, and non-members, to protect themselves as individuals, and their businesses, from allegations of, or investigations into, potential breaches of those laws.
Co-presenter – Troy Pilkington
Troy Pilkington is a partner in Russell McVeagh’s Competition and Consumer Law team. Troy advises clients on the full range of competition law issues, including advising on cartel investigations and prosecutions, advising on mergers between competitors and advising on joint ventures and other collaborations between competitors. Troy is one of New Zealand’s best regarded competition lawyers – including being recognised as the exclusive 2019 International Law Office Client Choice Award winner for Competition/Antitrust in New Zealand. He has acted on a number of high profile matters, including the proposed NZME/Fairfax merger in 2016/2017 and proposed mergers involving companies such as Coca Cola Amatil, Spark, Trade Me and others.
Co-presenter – Lina Kim
Lina Kim is a law clerk in Russell McVeagh’s Competition and Consumer Law team. Lina advises clients on a range of competition law issues, including merger control issues, joint venture advice, cartel investigations and market power investigations.
We will send out an invite next week and you can join via the NZSA zoom link.
Secintel Security Situation Report
NZSA member Global Risk Consulting (GRC) have recently launched their Secintel System that provides a comprehensive national threat and risk assessment platform. The system provides a good level of understanding as to what is happening in our communities, and across areas of importance to security providers such as criminality, civil unrest and armed conflict, or commonly known as the security operating environment.
GRC have kindly offered to make the Secintel Security Situation Report for Q4 2020 available to NZSA members. Please see the attached Report.
For more information on the Secintel System, please contact Chris Kumeroa on [email protected].
NZSA member referral – strength in numbers
NZSA’s membership has grown strongly over the past year and each new member not only strengthens the Association and the security community, it also enables us to provide you with more benefits and services and a greater voice for the industry. So help grow your community and strengthen your Association by referring a prospective new member.
Women & Leadership Scholarships
Scholarships of up to $5,000 available for women in the security sector
To encourage more women to step into leadership roles across the security sector, Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ) is offering scholarships for three leadership development courses. The current round of scholarship funding must be allocated by the end of June.
To find our more and register your interest prior to 18 June please visit the WLNZ website.
Face masks available
The NZSA has obtained from the Ministry of Health face masks from government stocks. These masks are Ministry of Health approved for essential services.
The masks are available to order in boxes of 50. The price of one box is $50 + gst plus the cost of delivery to your premises.
If you would like to place an order can you please email us at [email protected] with your requirements.
NZSA Speak Up Line
The NZSA Speak Up Line is free to members and provides access to a confidential service where staff can report issues such as bullying, sexual harassment, poor employment conditions, illegal practices such as theft or drug dealing and other matters of concern that may be occurring in the workplace and not being reported.
Phone 0800 775 775
Online reports www.integrityline-nz.org
The NZSA will provide posters, business-sized card to go into wallets, stickers and introductory letters for your staff. They are designed for members to include their own corporate branding prior to distribution.
The service is particularly valuable where employees may be reluctant to speak up or report matters due to fears that by doing so it may affect their employment or risk further victimisation.
It is also important to note that such services meet government procurement requirements around providing a voice for staff.
This service is provided by Crimestoppers who obviously have considerable experience in handling sensitive calls in a confidential manner. They log the calls or online reports and forward to the NZSA for further investigation if required. The staff member can remain anonymous if they wish to do so.
Register for the NZSA Speak Up Line by emailing [email protected] If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
NZSA HR Advisory Service
NZSA is partnered with Livewire HR to provide access to free HR advice as well as templated key documents and policies.
There are testimonials below from some members who have utilised the service:
“We have used Livewire for a while now and the documents are great to use and easy to download and save. We have implemented some policies based on the designed ones here and have good responses from our team. We will continue to use them for a long time to come. Would highly recommend.”
“I had a very good experience with Livewirehr, especially with Rebecca. She was approachable and patient with our questions. The advisory service is a big help and I would recommend using this great service”.
“When we had inquiries the response was very quick and super helpful. Some the security companies do not have a big HR team or Lawyer team and this is such a great service to use if something out of the ordinary appears and you want to be sure you are working within the regulations.”
Call HR LIVE (0800 475 483)
Email [email protected]
Money, is it the only way to motivate your team?
– an NZSA HR Advisory Service update
Minimum wage is going up again! Which raises an interesting question, how do you keep those in your team, who are already being paid above minimum wage, motivated with the ever-decreasing pay gap? Many small businesses are already working hard to afford the increased minimum wage, and to maintain the differential for those above minimum wages would mean paying them 5.8% more. For many, doing this is simply unaffordable.
So how do you retain those experienced and loyal employees? To read further please see the LivewireHR blog.
If you have any workplace questions, the NZSA HR Advisory service can assist.
Phone: HR LIVE (0800 475 483)
Email: [email protected]
We welcome the following new Corporate Member:
Southern Cross Group Limited
NZISF breakfast meeting
13 May 2021
Topic: DDoS: lessons from the war room
Ransom notes, innovative attacks, stock exchanges being disrupted, spy agencies, war rooms…….this sounds like a bad movie plot, not what you would expect to happen in New Zealand!
This talk covers a defenders experience and the lessons you can learn protecting a range of NZ financial institutions from an effective and sustained DDoS campaign. It will dive into the risks you face operating web facing services, the cost to run attacks and what you can do to prepare for an attack and effectively defend yourself.
When: Tuesday 13 May at 7.15am
For more information and to register click here
NZSA CEO regional visits
The regional visit programme was introduced four years ago as a way to ensure our members and non-members had the opportunity to meet with the CEO on a regular basis, to keep up with industry developments and to provide feedback on pertinent issues. The regional visits originally comprised breakfast or After 5 collective meetings but have evolved to the current one-on-one meetings at the member, or non-members, place of business. If you would like to meet with Gary please contact him on 021 122 9606 or [email protected].
5-7 May – New Plymouth, Whanganui and Palmerston North
23-24 June – Hawkes Bay
7-8 July – Rotorua and Taupo
18-19 August – Christchurch
9-10 September – Whangarei and Northland
6-7 October – Blenheim and Nelson
10-12 November – Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown
7-8 December – Hamilton and Tauranga