PSA: Don’t use MBIE payroll mess as excuse to review Holidays Act

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Kiwi workers could end up being short-changed over their holiday entitlements if the government sides with big business over a review of the Holidays Act, the Public Service Association says.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has admitted hundreds of its employees may have had holiday pay incorrectly calculated due to problems with its payroll system.

It faces a potentially lengthy process in finding out what each employee is owed, and the PSA is working with MBIE on a swift resolution to the problem.

In the meantime, Business NZ, the Hospitality Association and the Payroll Practitioners Association have all called for a review of the Holidays Act, saying the current provisions are too complex.

"The PSA believes this is an attempt by the business lobby to chip away at employees’ entitlements, using MBIE’s woes as an excuse," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"The 2004 changes to the Holidays Act were introduced so that workers’ leave was calculated correctly and fairly.

"Many aspects of payroll administration require calculations to be made, and this is no more complicated than any other."

Workplace Relations minister Michael Woodhouse has admitted that any attempt to simplify the Act’s provisions would affect workers’ entitlements.

"The PSA calls on the minister not to bow to pressure from big business.

"Instead of subtly attacking workers’ rights, the lobby groups in question might spend their time more usefully by helping their members work through these issues.

"Our members - and all workers - need to take holidays so they can spend time with their families and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

"The PSA will fight any attempt to reduce their entitlements."