DairyNZ and partners have launched a new Rural Employee Support Hub, to provide information and help to farm employees so they have the best possible experiences and careers on farm.
The hub is a website ruralemployeesupport.co.nz and a free employee support phone line (0800 694 121) where people can have their questions answered, big and small.
“Dairying is a sector that’s built on people – people are the key to our success, so we want everyone in dairying to have a rewarding career long-term and that’s where the Rural Employee Support Hub plays a key part,” DairyNZ people team leader Jane Muir said.
The website is packed with information and tips to support and help employees excel in their jobs on farms. Information includes careers, training and development, remuneration and tenancies.
There are sections on personal health including keeping active, nutrition and mental health support. On a practical level, there’s help on animals, farm health and safety. There’s even access to legal support if needed.
The hub is a DairyNZ and Ministry for Primary Industries initiative, being delivered by Federated Farmers and supported by Dairy Women’s Network and New Zealand Young Farmers. “As a sector, we are really focused on ensuring employees enjoy and are fulfilled in their jobs, and that farm bosses have great talent working for them. It’s a two-way relationship,” said Jane.
“Employers are well supported through DairyNZ and Federated Farmers, and we want to ensure employees have the same level of support and know where to go to ask questions.”
Farm employees can call the hub’s free 0800 support line for information. The line provides confidential, impartial advice and is available Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm. People can also email via the website.
The initiative is a six-month pilot to understand the demand. If well used by employees, the partners want to see it become permanent.
The initiative complements the dairy sector’s Good Boss campaign, where advice and support is provided to farmers on how to be the best employers they can be. Advice includes following best practices for recruiting and inducting new staff into their roles.