Newsletter – January 2024

By February 9, 2024 No Comments
turner hopkins

And just like that…the holidays are over (well for most of us anyway). There may be a few of you lucky enough to be able to carry on enjoying the summer sun and we hope you do.

For the rest of us, its back to work and of course planning ahead for 2024. Last year certainly threw up more than a few challenges and if anything that should serve as a good reminder that planning ahead is something we all need to do. Our first newsletter for the year is all about looking ahead and planning – something we all vow and declare we will do more of at 12.01am on 01 January, but tend to then forget about as the days turn in to weeks and then in to months. However planning (even just a little bit ) can set you up for a better year.

If you are considering a new property transaction this year, finally looking to draft your will (or review the one you have) or wanting to discuss any other legal matter, why not get ahead of the crowd – The team at Turner Hopkins are back on deck, ready to assist you with that planning process or to help you navigate some 2023 “hangovers”.

New Year – New Job?

 

Your Employment Law Specialists

 

The new year is a popular time for people to move between jobs or for employers to think about their future recruitment needs…

The end of one year and start of another is often a time when many people take stock of their employment situation and consider their next move. There is clearly something about the start of a new year and also having the extended break over the holidays that leads to an increase in people moving between jobs or considering their next career step.

Equally for businesses, the beginning of the year is a good chance to review existing staff levels, potential needs for the year ahead and looking at changes that might need to take place. One area that is often overlooked however, and is just as crucial, is ensuring that all of your employment documentation (agreements, policies etc.) are up to date and ready to go.

Change, within the employment space, for both employers and employees is a constant – whether it is staff coming and going, or looking to revisit their remuneration or business needs adapting to ever-changing legislative and economic conditions, being prepared and having good advice on tap when you need it, can save everyone a lot of time and potential administration. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we have a few things you might want to put on your 2024 planning schedule.

For Employers

  • 90-day trial periods were reinstated to apply to all businesses with effect from 23 December 2023.  This means all businesses can now include a 90 day trial period clause in their new employment agreements offers, however this change will not apply to existing employment agreements.  We recommend you seek legal advice before terminating on the basis of a trial period clause, to assist you in getting the process and legal requirements right.

  • Are your agreements and processes up to date or have they been on the “to-do” list for a little too long. With the labour market changing in response to economic conditions in NZ, having clear and up to date employment agreements and policies in place will become increasingly important.  We can assist with reviewing and updating your agreements and policies.

  • Businesses can receive penalties if they do not keep accurate up to date records of all workers including wage, time, holidays and leave records.  Legislative changes in January 2024 create further infringements and penalties for non-compliance.  We can assist your business in advising what the requirements are.

  • Although it is only January, it is never too early to plan ahead for leave entitlements, ensuring that your staff get the break they need, but also that your business has the cover required during your busy periods.

For Employees

  • A change in role, can mean a change in employer and the terms and conditions involved. Seeking independent legal advice on your next employment agreement is always recommended but often overlooked – some checking and due diligence now, can avoid issues further down the line, and it is the critical time for you in negotiating terms and conditions.

  • Is your employer restructuring? With more challenging economic conditions ahead, there is a greater chance of this happening and if it happens to you, it is important to understand your rights and options.

  • Looking for that next big pay-rise? With inflation having taken its toll in 2023, plenty of people will be looking to negotiate better deals in 2024. Sometimes however, getting a better deal, isn’t just about the dollars and cents. You might want to think about other entitlements – leave, flexible working arrangements etc.

Whatever your employment situation might be, whether it is that next big step on the corporate ladder, or if you are at the top of that ladder, wondering how to make sure your people stay on it, our team have the skills and expertise to ensure you can plan ahead for 2024, no matter what the year may bring.

Summer in NZ

 

Our Team Out & About

The team at Turner Hopkins were here, there and everywhere over the holidays, taking some well-deserved time out.

We know our team are an adventurous lot, so this year, we thought it would be a good idea to find out what the Turner Hopkins team got up to, over the summer holidays. It appears plenty of time was spent on the beach, strawberries were picked and there was even a snow-capped mountain climbed by one of the team.

Summer in New Zealand is a very special time and it was great to see our staff, out and about enjoying so much of the variety this great little country has to offer. Below are a few snaps from the team over the break.

 

Going one step further, we even decided to vote on who managed to capture the best holiday snap and considering that ice and snow isn’t something you usually associate with a “Kiwi Summer”, Luis, was the clear winner.

Here is another shot, showing a very triumphant Luis on his ascent of Mt. Taranaki. Well done Luis!

 

 

Buying a House in 2024?

 

Your House, Your Home

For most people, buying a house is really buying a home and so it pays to plan ahead, work out a strategy and be prepared.

It’s the new year, perhaps you have promised yourself to make a start on the “new you” diet, exercise and general health and wealth! Maybe a new home is something that is within your sights in 2024. Here is a quick guide to help you get prepared to tackle the property market and make that move into your dream home for 2024.

First tip – get advice. Obvious right but, WHO should you talk to?

We recommend that the first thing you do is get lending advice from your bank or a mortgage broker. They can help you asses how much you might be able to borrow and how much the repayments on a certain loan amount would cost. If you have a house to sell talk to a few real estate agents to get a feel of the market and work out whether your sale price expectation is realistic. Don’t be pressured into listing your property just yet there is still more homework to do. Next you should think about the dream next home, what do you want, where is it located and how much will it likely cost.

If you follow these steps, you will be armed with enough information to consider whether your next home move is possible or whether it is not quite yet in reach. Don’t be disheartened if you are in the “not quite yet” position, the information you have gathered will likely provide you with a plan to follow to get to your next step soon. However if after making the above enquiries you are able to pursue that new home dream then we recommend at this stage (and before you list your home and/or put an offer in your next dream home) you make contact with your lawyer. Let them know what is happening and let them guide you through the legal process of selling and purchasing a house from the beginning. Lawyers can get very busy at certain times of the year and a little notice of a clients intentions can help them ensure they have time for you when you need it the most.

Once you are ready to go on a detailed house hunt, do some more research, check out the area you are interested in at different times of the day and in a variety of weather patterns. Give specific attention to wet and windy days where properties are more likely to show their strengths or weaknesses. If you see a house, you like, visit it several times at different times. Don’t become a stalker but pay attention to the location, is it a busy road or do some of the neighbouring gardens or homes look a little worse for wear? After all this move could be your forever home or at least your next 5 year home.

At turner Hopkins we understand that for most buying a house is about buying a home and investing in a future you want. We are your local experts with a passion for helping to make your home ownership dreams come true. Wherever you are on the property market talk to one of our team today.   

Retiring in 2024?

 

Your Golden Years…

As the new year unfolds, so to will your plans and goals. We can assist with many of these, particularly for those looking to enjoy their retirement years.

Traditionally at the start of the New Year people start thinking and planning for the future.  It might be a short-term plan such as where and when to holiday throughout 2024, or bigger plans might be being laid like estate planning and planning for retirement. Often people planning for retirement focus on the financial requirements to sustain their lifestyle without regular employment income but there is a lot more to consider than just financial wellbeing.

Many people heading into retirement are not fully prepared to face the reality retirement brings which includes freedom from a lifetime of regular routines and little spare time. Whilst that spare time to do whatever you want is appealing it can also become a double-edged sword when you suddenly find yourself with less to do and regular routines having been disestablished. It is important to have networks, familial support, hobbies and interests that will keep you entertained.  Considering how and where you are going to live during your later years is important. Your home will need to suit your lifestyle, mobility needs and be located within easy reach of health services, grocery shopping and the golf course (if that’s your passion). Retirement villages have become popular in recent decades as they offer security, certainty, entertainment, and networks without compromising freedoms. However, they can be expensive in the long run and do not suit everyone’s needs. Further, living in a retirement village usually means you don’t own the place you live; rather, you occupy the property through the purchase of a license. Turner Hopkins can provide information and guidance to help you decide if a retirement village is right for you or help you explore other options.  If you do choose to move to a retirement village then you are best advised to update your Will and will need to complete enduring powers of attorney.

Even if you don’t choose to live in a retirement village you should ensure your family affairs are up to date, that your Will is valid and articulates your wishes fully, and you have valid enduring powers of attorney in place. Communicating your wishes to family members is a vital part of retirement planning which is often overlooked and can cause stress for those you leave behind.  

If you are looking for estate and retirement planning advice then the team at Turner Hopkins can help you get your legal affairs in order. We have been here for over a hundred years so if you are looking for a law firm you can trust with lawyers with experience to support your retirement goals then why not make an appointment to talk to one of our experts today.

The Results Are In!

 

The Results Are In!

The results of our recent Net Promoter Score survey have now been finalised, and we are very pleased to see that we are continuing to deliver an outstanding service to our new and existing clients.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our customer service survey, which we sent out in December. We had an enormous response, with overwhelmingly positive results, and some good feedback to pass on to the team. There were also some great comments provided from a variety of clients which will help us to build on the services we offer.

Having tallied up the scores, our Net Promoter Score (NPS) result came in at just over 70, which is an outstanding result for the team and a reflection of the hard work they put in, and the culture we have strived to create here at Turner Hopkins.

As always, we welcome feedback from all of our clients and as part of our commitment to maintaining our services standards will be undertaking another survey, midway through 2024.

As you can see this month’s newsletter has been all about preparing for the year ahead and what better time to do it as you ease yourself out of your togs and towel and back in to the real world. Perhaps you have a few days of holiday left or you are slowly easing back in to work – whatever your situation is, it would be a good time, to start thinking about your plans for the next 12 months (as they do tend to fly past).

Whatever your goals or aspirations are for 2024, chances are, the team at Turner Hopkins can assist with many of them and we obviously welcome your inquiry as you put your plans in to action.