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Taskforce To Review Holidays Act

Published June 08, 2018 (last updated June 30, 2023) - Ben Fairfax

Government Taskforce reviews the Holidays Act 2003

A new Government Taskforce will review the Holidays Act 2003, in an attempt to reduce its complexity and better reflect New Zealand’s changing labour market.

Announced by Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, the taskforce brings together business, workers and Government who will work together under the guidance of Taskforce Chairman Prof. Gordon Anderson. A report is due by mid-2019.

New Zealand’s business and union sectors have long lobbied for the review, claiming its complexity and failure to reflect modern workplaces is unfairly impacting both employers and workers.

Change in Labour Market Prompts Review

“The Holidays Act was enshrined in law to provide for minimum entitlements to annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave, and protect work-life balance for workers,” Minister Lees-Galloway said.

“However, there’s been enormous change in our labour market over the past fifteen years and it’s clear we need to look at the Holidays Act with a fresh pair of eyes and ensure it is fit for modern workplaces and new working arrangements.

“We need law that provides certainty to both employers and employees so that employees receive their correct entitlements. The legislation needs to be straightforward and simple to implement, and deliver fair rest and entitlements for workers.

“With an increasing variety of work patterns and pay arrangements, the legislative requirements of the Act are proving difficult and costly for employers to apply and employees are not receiving their full entitlements.

“The time is now right to directly address the underlying issues with the Act. I’ve been approached by Business NZ and the Council of Trade Unions to help tackle this vexed and complex set of issues and I’m excited about the work we have ahead of us.”

What This Means For You

The Taskforce is expected to consult widely with employers and workers across New Zealand. We encourage you to participate in the process and make your voice heard. We will endeavour to keep you informed of the Taskforce’s progress and how you can get involved. Follow this link for more information about the Holidays Act Review and the Terms of Reference.

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