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Review of the Holidays Act

29 May 2018: A taskforce that brings business, workers and Government together has been established to recommend changes to the Holidays Act 2003, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Holidays Act was enshrined in law to provide for minimum entitlements to annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave, and protect worklife […]

Calculating annual holiday pay

We’ve had a lot of questions lately about the calculation of annual holiday pay, whether to use ordinary weekly pay or average weekly earnings, and what should be included in the calculations. If an employee takes an annual holiday after the employee’s entitlement to the holiday has arisen, the employer must calculate the employee’s annual […]

Annual Closedowns

With Christmas only a few weeks away, we thought we’d do a brief reminder about Closedown Periods that often occur during this festive time. A Closedown Period means “a period during which the Employer customarily closes the Employer’s operations or discontinues the work of one or more Employees and requires his or her Employees to take […]

Christmas and New Year – Public Holidays 2015/2016

This year the recognised Public Holidays over the Christmas and New Year period are as follows: Friday 25th December 2015 – Christmas Day Saturday 26th December – Boxing Day (observed on Monday 28th December) Friday 1st January 2016 – New Year’s Day Saturday 2nd January – the day after New Year’s Day (observed on Monday 4th January) Public Holidays […]

Employers reminded not to confuse part-time and casual workers

10 June 2015 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reminded employers today that part time employees who work regular rostered hours are entitled to pro-rated holidays and leave. The Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate regularly sees cases where people working part time are not getting their legal entitlements because the employer assumes they can just […]

Cashing up of Annual Leave

The Holidays Act 2003 provides that on one or more separate occasions an employee can request that his or her employer pay out a portion of the employee’s annual leave entitlement. There are conditions and restrictions to this cashing up provision (sections 28A-F), the main ones of which are outlined below: An employee can only […]

Key Decision: Holiday pay ordered on incentive payment made post termination

A company that agreed with an employee to pay him an incentive payment if he remained with it until a certain date, or was made redundant or unjustifiably dismissed prior to that date, found that it was obliged to pay holiday pay on the incentive payment when it made him redundant. The incentive payment, to […]

Freeze order served to Auckland businesses fined for labour breaches

On 25 October, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate served freezing orders which were granted by the Employment Court, on three companies operating Auckland convenience and liquor stores owing over $200,000 for breaches of employment law.  It is the first time the Labour Inspectorate has used section 190 of the Employment Relations […]

Q & A: Expiration of annual leave

Jessie is employed by Magic Hire Ltd, a company which hires out costumes. Jessie has 40 days of annual leave owing to her. The company has asked Jessie on a number of occasions to reduce the number of days owing to her. However, Jessie has not taken any leave. Can Magic Hire Ltd tell Jessie […]

Q & A: Cashing up more than one week of annual leave

An employee is entitled to four weeks of annual leave. The employee has a large amount of annual leave owing. Both the employer and the employee have agreed that the employee can cash up any portion of the annual leave entitlement. Can the employee cash up more than one week per annum of annual leave […]

Holiday and sick leave entitlements of casual and part-time employees

In this article, we will address the following questions: I am preparing an employment agreement for a permanent part-time employee. We want to pay out their holiday pay on a “pay as you go” basis at 8% — is this OK? This part-timer will work two days per week, so how many sick days are […]

Q & A – Snow absenteeism, what to do?

Question: Some of my employees claim that they could not get to work because of heavy snow. They merely texted to say they would not be in but I am not sure how serious their situations really were. The employees say I must pay them for the days they did not work because they were“ready […]

When should I contact a Labour Inspector?



Labour Inspectors make sure that employers operate within the law in relation minimum entitlements – that is things like minimum wages, annual leave, and public holidays.  They can take action to enforce minimum standards through the Employment Relations Authority. If you believe you are receiving less than your legal minimum entitlements then ideally, you should discuss […]

Employee reimbursed for cancelled holiday

The Employment Relations Authority determined that an unjustifiably dismissed employee had suffered the loss of a benefit because he had to cancel a pre-arranged holiday and it awarded the employee the amount of the cancellation fee. The Employment Relations Act 2000 provides for compensation for loss of any benefit that the employee might have expected […]

Maternity, Parental Leave, and Annual Holidays

Question: We have an employee who is taking maternity leave and her final date of employment is within two weeks of the first of the Easter statutory holidays. The employee has either taken accrued holidays or will be paid out her entitlement when she leaves.  Are we obligated to pay her any of the Easter […]

Implications for employees with variable hours of work

When an employee works variable hours, there are many implications an employer needs to take into consideration.  Some of the most common implications are summarised in the article below. Hours of work There is no legislation directly governing how many hours an employee may work per week. The Minimum Wage Act 1983 (section 11B) requires that […]

Q & A – Can a permanent employee work different hours each week?

Question: Is it legal for an employee under a individual employment agreement to work variable hours per week? For example, in the retail sector, an employee may work for 30 hours one week, 50 hours in the following week, 20 hours in the third week, 60 hours in the fourth week and so on. Although the […]

Recent Case: Requirement to take annual leave during investigation unjustified

Any investigation of misconduct by an employee must be carried out with care. The employer must act in a fair and reasonable manner. In Brocks v Prime Range Meats Ltd [2012] NZERA Christchurch 229 the Employment Relations Authority held that an employer who insisted that an employee whose conduct was being investigated should take annual leave had […]

Calculation of Holiday Pay on Termination of Employment

Question: An employee’s last working day is 31 May 2012. His next holiday anniversary date is 1 April 2013. His annual leave due to 31 March 2012 is 30 days at $200 per day ($6,000). His gross earnings for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 May 2012 are $10,000. What is his final holiday […]