Holidays Act compliance and remediation what you need to know

As an employer, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) is required to ensure its employees are paid appropriately when they take leave as per the Holidays Act 2003. The Holidays Act 2003 covers pay and entitlements surrounding all types of leave and public holidays for employees in New Zealand.

What is Holidays Act compliance and remediation?

Audits of the 20 DHBs conducted by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Labour Inspectorate have found non-compliance with the Holidays Act 2003 at several DHBs. DHBs generally, including BOPDHB, acknowledge that there has been non-compliance and have agreed that payroll systems need to be improved (rectified) and any underpayments paid to employees (remediated).

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MBIE, DHBs, and the Unions has been developed and signed. Under this MOU, BOPDHB is undertaking a review and rectification project of the end-to-end payroll system and a subsequent remediation process.

What is the agreed solution between the DHBs and the Unions?

The agreed solution between all DHBs and the Unions is to make remediation payments to both current and former employees to adjust for any incorrect calculations going back to May 2010, and for future payments to be calculated and paid correctly in line with the agreed MOU.

How will this process be done?

The BOPDHB is approaching this task using the 'Framework for Local DHB Holidays Act Review' document developed under the agreed MOU.  The Unions are represented in the BOPDHB Steering Group and Project Team set up to oversee the process.

There are three key phases.

  1. Review - this is underway and should be completed in September 2020. It involves testing DHB payroll systems against the Baseline Interpretation agreed by the DHBs and the Unions to identify the extent of non-compliance.

  2. Rectification - fixing any identified issues of non-compliance in the DHB holiday pay payments and applying processes to ensure future payments comply with the Holidays Act 2003.

  3. Remediation - calculating and paying any amounts owing to current and former employees arising from any identified non-compliance. There will be a national process for former DHB employees (e.g. those who worked for BOP DHB at any time since 1 May 2010) to register.

How many BOPDHB employees might be affected?

We will review every employee and former employee's payments back to 1 May 2010 as agreed under the MOU. Initial analysis indicates that there may be about 4000 former BOPDHB employees affected, and there are currently about 3800 current employees that may potentially be affected. Potential impact on employees will vary depending on their work patterns.

When will I know if I have money owed to me and how much?

Any payments will be made as part of the remediation process which is in phase three of this project. It is absolutely vital that we get it right, and the complexity of achieving this is significant.

What if I have been overpaid?

If there are any historical overpayments related to holiday pays, no action will be taken to reclaim those funds. The emphasis is on the BOPDHB paying out what people are owed.  However, this process will help us to identify if there are any risks of overpaying people, and we will correct this moving forward.

How will I know what is happening and if I need to do anything?

We will keep this page regularly updated on BOPDHB progress as we move through the three phases of the process outlined above.

If you are a current employee, we don't need you to do anything. If you are identified as being owed money, we will already have your account details and you will receive a statement outlining the adjustments once we have calculated them.

As part of the Remediation Phase, we will make employees aware of possible impacts on tax brackets, allowances, student loans, tax payments, superannuation etc.

We will be asking for your help to let former employees know about this, if you are in contact with them.

How will former employees be notified?

Former employees who worked for BOPDHB any time from 1 May 2010, will be able to register their up-to-date contact details on a national website. That website will be well publicised, and a link will be placed on this page as soon as it is available. It will include FAQs for former employees.

We will make reasonable efforts to contact any former employee who is owed a payment, whether or not they have provided their up-to-date contact details.

Current BOPDHB employees DO NOT need to register on the national website, unless you have worked in another DHB post 1 May 2010.

Where is BOPDHB up to in this process?

Phase 1 Review

Current status (as at July 2020)

BOPDHB has engaged independent auditors who understand the Baseline Interpretation, have undertaken similar audits at other DHBs, and are closely engaged with the MBIE, and the Union groups.

Following the audit, we will be able to identify and understand areas of non-compliance in our systems and processes. The Labour Inspectorate of MBIE will review the audit outcomes, clarify any interpretation issues that may have arisen through Phase 1, and provide endorsement to proceed to the next phase of the process - Rectification.

If you have any queries related to BOP Holiday Act Compliance Project, our email is HolidaysAct@bopdhb.govt.nz

Union members can also contact their respective unions if they have questions/concerns.

Union Contact person Telephone Email
APEX Tony Hill 022 0320362

tony@apex.org.nz

ASMS ASMS Industrial Team 04 499 1271

asms@asms.nz

ETU Bertie Ratu 0800 186 466

support@etu.nz

MERAS Jill ovens, Co-leader (Industrial) 021 598 530

jill.ovens@meras.co.nz

NZNO Paul Mathews 0800 28 38 48

nurses@nzno.org.nz

PSA

Cherene Warbrick-Daniel 

 

07-5798298

 

Cherene.Warbrick-Daniel@bopdhb.govt.nz

PSA PSA Organising centre 0805 367 772

enquiries@psa.org.nz

RDA Tony Hill 022 0320362

tony@apex.org.nz

STONZ Kate Clapperton-Rees 022 493 1609

Support@stonz.co.nz

Last updated: August 5, 2020