Parents of Gen Z workers are calling employers to complain when they feel their children are being hard done by at work, according to a human resources specialist.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, leading human resources consultant Damien McCarthy said the next generation of worker expects their job to fit around their social lives and is constantly on the phone in the workplace.
The HR Buddy CEO said they know their rights when it comes to employment law – and it’s not unusual for a business to get a phone call from an angry parent demanding better treatment for their children.
“First of all, younger workers are fully aware of things like work life balance,” he said. “When I started off in my first summer job, I wasn’t aware of what work-life balance was but younger people are now.
“They’re also aware of things like green policies, diversity and inclusion. They have a much better awareness than younger workers would have had before with regards to employment law and so on and in some circumstances that is where some of the traditional workplaces like restaurants and retail outlets and so on are finding it difficult.
“They’re being challenged from an employment law perspective by young people now and if not by young people, perhaps by their parents ringing up in the evening and asking about pay and rest breaks and things like that.”
Mr McCarthy said the stretch labour market means this summer has seen a huge amount of young people entering the workforce for the first time.
“What’s important here is to point out that yes, Generation Z are going to be different to other generations,” he said.
“They are the most highly educated generation we have ever produced and they are also very technologically savvy. But are they different? Yes.”
He said employers need to understand that they are dealing with a different generation and need to update their policies and training accordingly.
“Again, this is probably the most talented bunch of young people we have ever brought into the workplace,” he said.
“They are the future of work so what needs to happen is that employers need to be aware of their employment law compliance and not feel challenged by that.
“They need expertise at their disposal, and they need to tweak things like on-boarding and training for younger workers, to manage that in a different way.
“There very definitely is a different set of people management skills required for dealing with Generation Z.”
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