Avoid Holiday Headaches This Christmas

Published November 25, 2022 Molly Chandran

From November, small businesses started experiencing the busiest period of consumer traffic, dining, and shopping. As the country prepares for its first proper holiday season post-pandemic, thousands of retailers have rolled up their sleeves in anticipation of peak Christmas sales. However, with the cost-of-living crisis looming large, what does it mean for small businesses, and how employers can prepare for the holidays?

Only [1]67% of retailers expect sales growth in 2022 as they face rising business expenses, increased wages, and supply chain difficulties. Consumers are facing inflation pressures of their own with cost-of-living rising rapidly which will lead to them cutting down on discretionary spending and opting for practical gifts. There is also a sense of consumers coming full circle with a shift towards conscious spending and purchasing decisions becoming less impulsive.

Mr. Laurence McLean, Operations Manager from Employsure; one of New Zealand’s leading experts in Employment Relations and Health and Safety commented, “The retail and hospitality industries are unfortunately still struggling with chronic labour shortages forcing small businesses to operate at reduced hours due to the lack of staff. The holiday season can be challenging and complicated for many employers, especially with managing the peak season rush in their business.

“If that wasn’t stressful enough, employers must also manage employee leave requests and understand public holiday entitlements. Business owners must make smart choices and plan for the holidays and ensure a smooth business continuity process is in place over the festive period.”

For many businesses like retail, hospitality, and hair and beauty, the holiday season is one of robust sales, peak traffic, and busy staff schedules. However, employers need to be mindful that small businesses are now competing in a highly fragmented market for both consumers and employees. It is an absolute must that business owners support their employees in any way they can. Create realistic schedules for employees and remember to allocate additional breaks.

Mr. McLean further commented, “Small business owners juggle different roles and responsibilities. They often act as the manager, HR person, mentor, and cheerleader for their employees. They wear many hats and play several roles within the business, such as being needed by their employees, their customers, suppliers, and distributors. With the Christmas season on its way, employers must be well-versed with employee [2]entitlements, [3]leave management, and [4]duty of care. They cannot afford to be negligent or ignorant on these issues as the consequences are far too costly for any small business owner. Employsure has released resources specifically tailored to support business owners with their obligations over the holiday period. We are here to help employers, so they don’t have to shoulder the burden alone.”

[1] Deloitte Retailers’ Holiday Survey 2022 | Deloitte Australia | Consumer

[2] Annual Holidays Entitlements Infographic | Employsure NZ

[3] Public Holiday Survival Guide | Employsure NZ

[4] Christmas Party Duty of Care Checklist | Employsure NZ

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