The Holidays Act 2003 covers pay and entitlements for employees in New Zealand about all types of leave and public holidays. While it’s easy to follow for those working standard hours, the Act has proved more complex for employees on shift work, variable days and hours, or with flexible work patterns.
This has resulted in widespread non-compliance – essentially, employers have unintentionally been underpaying or overpaying staff what they’re entitled to.
Since this came to light in 2015, it has affected a wide range of private and public organisations, including all district health boards.
The three Wellington regional DHBs – Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast – have identified payroll-related issues and where the DHBs are not compliant. This has resulted in some staff receiving incorrect payments over time.
The issues relate to entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003. The specific areas requiring remediation date back to 1 May 2010. The issues are mostly related to the payment of statutory holidays, and annual, sick and bereavement leave etc.
In late 2016, DHB chief executives agreed to establish a national process to respond to concerns raised by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU), around levels of compliance of DHB payroll systems with the Holidays Act 2003.
As well as development of a national process to manage Holidays Act Review and Remediation work, much work has been done to develop and agree a national interpretation of the Act for all DHBs to adhere to.