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Federated Farmers and the Department of Labour Join Forces.

The Employment Relations Service of the Department of Labour and Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) have combined their expertise, to recently launch a New Zealand wide series of "Good Employer" seminars.

The seminars will focus on establishing and maintaining productive employment relationships, and update farmers on current law.

Paul Hutcheson, a senior mediator with the Department of Labour and a co-presenter at the seminars says that often employment problems arise because of poorly managed relationships, rather than fundamental breaches of the law.

"If employers focus on doing things the right way and understanding their employees, they will have little need to understand the hassles of employment law, ", Mr Hutcheson said.

"The law provides the minimum standards, it is up to the employer to provide the ingredients for a productive employment relationship.”

Co-presenter Bruce Cottrill, an employment expert with Federated Farmers and teacher at Massey University agrees.

He says that farmers are no different to employers in any other sector with a mixture of good and bad.

"The best employers in the rural sector are outstanding, and it is the industry's challenge to bring everyone up to that standard. These seminars are designed with that purpose in mind.

“The seminars are based on a list of employment ‘golden rules’, and our aim is to encourage inter action with participants and to answer lots of questions,” Mr Cottrill said.

There is no charge for the seminars which will be held in the following centres:

22 May 2003 - 9.45am - 4.00pm, Sherwood Motor Inn

250-256 Featherston Street, Palmerston North

28 May 2003 - 9.45am - 4.00pm, Avenue Motor Inn

379 Victoria Avenue, Wanganui

29 May 2003 - 9.45am - 4.00pm

Inglewood Town Hall, Cutfield Street

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