Hamilton City Council is the latest big business moving to rectify errors in Holiday Act payments.
The Council errors were confirmed after an audit of payroll processes by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The audit was part of a national compliance review following the discovery some organisations across New Zealand had incorrectly applied the complex Holidays Act legislation. Businesses who got it wrong include the NZ Police, Fairfax Media, Cadbury NZ and MBIE itself.
NZ Police identified a $39 million underpayment affecting approximately 15,000 employees. Cadbury NZ, Fairfax media and MBIE also made payments following an audit.
The Council error means around 1995 current and former Council employees hired between 21 August 2012 and 18 August 2019 will receive an additional holiday payment. The amount each person receives will be different, but the total amount owed is $560,606.30.
The error applies where there are variable hours and payments as part of an employee’s regular take-home pay, where an employee has cashed-up a portion of their annual leave, or where an employee has left partway through the year before further entitlement to annual leave has arisen.
Corporate General Manager David Bryant was pleased the audit had confirmed all the Council’s other core payroll practices were fully compliant. The focus now was contacting those people affected to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.
“We are not the only ones who have come up against this issue with the Holidays Act. Many other New Zealand businesses, both private and public, have made additional holiday payments. But we still want to sort this out as quickly as possible.”
Current affected employees were notified today. Former employees, whose contact information the Council still holds, are also being contacted this week. There are around 1400 former employees owed money that the Council currently has no contact information for. A variety of avenues are being used to try and contact those people including past contact details (email, post, phone) and social media.
“If people suspect they are owed something, or perhaps have a friend who might be, the easiest way to check is to visit Hamilton.govt.nz/holidaypay and complete a really easy form,” says Mr Bryant. “Or you could phone 07 838 6699 and we’ll help you sort it out.”