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Government Warning To Employers Over Holiday Act Compliance

Published July 06, 2018 (last updated November 16, 2020) -

Review is no excuse for non-compliance

The New Zealand Government has sent a warning to employers that the current Holiday Act Review is not a license to breach current workplace legislation.

Labour Inspectorate national manager Stu Lumsden issued the warning as the Government prepares a major review of the Holidays Act 2003.

“While we understand the enthusiasm for the review, this in no way excuses employers from taking all necessary steps to comply with the current Act, and paying any arrears which are outstanding to their employees,” Mr Lumsden said.

Over a year until any new Act is effective

“Employers should note the Holidays Act Working Group has 12 months to report back to the Minister with options, and any adopted recommendation will need to go through the legislative process — so it may be some time before any new Act is effective.”

“Employers must continue to be proactive in testing their compliance with Holidays Act requirements, and to undertake rectification and remediation process where issues are identified.”

The comments come after Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway last month announced a new taskforce that will review the Holidays Act 2003, in an attempt to reduce its complexity and better reflect New Zealand’s changing labour market.

Record Keeping

Mr Lumsden also warned employers that record keeping will be a major compliance focus in coming months.

“We will also be targeting accurate and complete record keeping as a primary and critical element of compliance for all employers,” he said.

“Proper record keeping is a longstanding and basic requirement for proper payment of workers. In the Holidays Act context, it is also the foundation for remediation of any calculation errors.”

“Employers who have not maintained, and who are not continuing to maintain, necessary records are likely to face penalties.”

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