Saturday 5 February 2011

Dirty sick rent seeking

Well, this one isn't very blatant, is it?
Revelations that the workplace sickness is costing the Government millions of dollars in sick leave alongside lost productivity are behind growing calls for the introduction of a National Standard for the NZ cleaning industry.

"There are government departments spending over $1 million each year on sick leave payments which we believe can be reduced and not only provide healthier workplaces, but save taxpayers this expense," said Crest Cleans' managing director Grant McLauchlan.

Figures released under the Official Information Act that Crest has sighted, shows that the NZ Police topped the list of government departments for sick leave spending over $21 million during the 2009/2010 financial year.

Of the 58 government departments that responded to questions about costs being incurred as a result of workplace illness, 17 spent over $1 million in annual sick leave payments.

"Crest believes that there is a significant opportunity to reduce these costs and put a renewed focus back onto the health element instead of solely looking at the safety message," said Mr McLauchlan.

"Show me another NZ industry sector with an annual spend of $1 billion that does not have any minimum standards. Commercial cleaning has impact in all corners of our economy from business, to health and education. The loss to our economic output and productivity from poor hygiene practices warrants review."

Crest Clean believes New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of National Standards to tidy up the cleaning industry and is pleased that the Ministry of Economic Development is looking into this. However there is no time-frame around the introduction which is frustrating for the cleanng industry.

"With recent reports that ill-health is costing the economy at least $5 billion a year and affecting the country's productivity levels, the sooner these National Standards are introduced, the sooner we can see workers health improve and taxpayer dollars saved," Mr McLauchlan said.
That's right. Regulate my competitors out of business and save the country $5 billion in social costs! Believe me! All that's standing between New Zealand and the end of sickies is national standards and regulations on the cleaning industry!

I'm not sure I've seen a call quite as shameless as this one. Kudos to you, Crest Cleaning!


  1. you didn't go to the Buskers festival did you dude, you failed to take your girls to busker, know that, because if you did you woudn't be so philosophical serious,

  2. We did see a few shows. The kids (boy & girl) liked Twisty Twins...

  3. Well philosophical one, this is good, but you missed many shows, twisty twins was very NZ,
    how could you talk philosophy, when there were so many good shows, there is much for you to catch up on dude, but I forgive you, you are young, your wife is young, more later dude, there will be no dialelectic with me, you will have to face the truth Canadian

  4. The rather alarming part is the MED are actually working on this, bearing in mind their total lack of progress on the financial services hub. This Anderton created oddity might improve the countrys productivity by studying its own performance.

  5. ...and now for some local licensing madness. Just after the WSJ ran their piece on licensing I spoke to a builder in CHC. Asked how work was, he said a little slower than average. Why??? there is half a city to rebuild. Answer: The EQR has been established to handle claims of 10k-100k and they are running their own licensing scheme for all builders. In addition labour prices, materials prices and other costs are fixed by Fletcher (managing the EQR). Even certified builders are required to undergo an assessment (albeit lighter). My builder friend said the process of certification has repeatedly changed and costs quite a lot. This plus the pre-negotiated rates have made it pointless for him to participate and the sentiment is apparently widespread. He felt it more profitable to continue with business as usual. To check this I looked for some figures: from a Nov release on EQR : 1700 applicant builders with over 400 likely to be approved.
    From the EQC press release on 18 Nov - Over 60 000 homes fall under the EQR category...that is roughly 120 moderate to large jobs per builder, scale that up to a week or a month (at least!) per job and you better start hoping that speed is the number 1 criteria for that license.
    Licensing + Price controls = Fail

    -Anonymous Coward

  6. @Anon: I want to know more. Send me links, details by email.