The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has recently released a guide to annual holidays under the Holidays Act 2003. This free resource is available here on the MBIE website.
Working out annual leave entitlements under the Holidays Act is reasonably straightforward if staff work fixed hours and receive the same pay each week. However compliance becomes surprisingly complicated and uncertain when working hours or pay vary from week to week, or work arrangements change. Many organisations (including MBIE itself) have got it wrong, resulting in some large pay outs and requiring significant time and cost to fix past issues and ensure compliance going forward.
While it doesn’t replace the law (or act as a substitute for legal advice) the guide provides some welcome assistance to employers and payroll providers around issues which are complex and difficult to get right.
Some key messages for employers emerge from the guide. Although they don’t necessarily make happy reading, they are important to take on board:
MBIE expects to release a guide to public holidays, alternate holidays, alternate holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave in October 2017.
We have significant experience in these areas. If you have questions or issues then please get in contact with our employment team.
Geoff Bevan and Gerrad Brimble