Review of Holidays Act announced
General / 25 April 2018
On 29 May 2018, the Government announced that it had formed a working group with Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions to review the Holidays Act 2003 (HA). Recommendations and possible legislative changes are not likely to be announced until 2019, but we’re hopeful the eventual result will be a simpler law!
The working group was set up following requests from both unions and employers to address the complexity of the HA, following many high-profile problems with its calculations, with even NZ Police identifying that their employees had been incorrectly paid leave entitlements. NZ Police has paid $39 million in arrears to current and former staff as a consequence.
Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Hon Iain Lees- Galloway has said that the working party will focus on ensuring that any new law is straightforward and easy to implement and accommodates a variety of work patterns and pay arrangements.
The working group is expected to consult widely to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues with the HA as well as working closely with technical experts in this area.
Although it is likely that changes will be made to the HA, the Government has been clear that all employers are still expected to comply with the current legislation, and that enforcement of this law will continue. The Labour Inspectorate is proactive in this respect, and employers are being fined for failures to comply, as we’ve written about here and here
If you have any concerns about HA obligations, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law and health and safety topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.