Some commonly asked questions

How many people are affected?

For the first round of remediation payments, we've completed calculations for more than 9,000 current and ex-employees. Of these, more than 7,000 will receive a payment.

Why has it taken so long to figure out if I'm owed anything?

There are many reasons why it's taking time to figure out if an individual employee is owed money:

  • The Holidays Act 2003 (the Act) is complex.
  • The Labour Inspectorate is continuing to provide advice on how to interpret the Act, especially for those who work non-standard work hours or who get paid overtime.
  • Understanding how the Ministry’s current practices, processes and systems align to the Act and where changes are needed.
  • Establishing a method to correctly calculate and any errors in payments.

Are all employees affected the same, or will there be differences from employee to employee? 

There are a number of factors that determine who will be affected by the Holidays Act remediation. Some examples of these are:

  • the employees’ work pattern (days and hours worked);
  • whether overtime is worked;
  • when annual leave has been taken;
  • length and period of service with the Ministry;

For the purposes of remediation calculations, how is a ‘week’ defined?

The remediation calculations have been performed with a week being in line with the pay period, which is Thursday to Wednesday.

For the purposes of remediation calculations, how is a ‘day’ defined?

A day is defined as your work pattern hours for the particular instance of leave. For example, if you had a day of sick leave on Thursday and your work pattern for a Thursday is six hours, then that's what constitutes a day for the calculation of the Relevant Daily Pay or Average Daily Pay for that instance of sick leave.

Why is our pay only being backdated to 2009 when the Holidays Act has been in place since 2003?

An action for payment of arrears under s 131 of the Employment Relations Act is subject to a six-year limitation period from the date on which the Ministry first became aware of the issue, which was April 2015.

I've received a very small payment (for example, less than $1). Why did you bother to pay me?

We know these may seem like small amounts. However, we are both legally and morally obliged to ensure you receive any payment owing to you.

What dates does the remediation cover?

The Employment Relations Act requires the Ministry to go back six years from the date the problem was first identified. The Ministry first identified the potential problem in April 2015, so payments for errors will be calculated from 2 April 2009. The end date for payment calculations will be the date the Ministry becomes compliant with the Holidays Act and makes final payments.

What dates does this first round of remediation payments cover?

The first round of remediation payments covers the period 2 April 2009 to 2 October 2019.

The start date of 2 April 2009 is six years prior to the date the Ministry became aware of the problem. The Ministry became aware of the potential problem in April 2015. The 6-year time period is established as the limitation period in the Employment Relations Act.

An end date was needed to enable us to calculate the first round of remediation payments, and we selected your last day of duty.

What about employees who moved from LSA or PDS to the Ministry, have they been included?

If you moved to the Ministry from LSA or PDS, your commencement date with the Ministry was 1 July 2011 and as a result your remediation period commences on 1 July 2011.

What if I started working at the Ministry after 2 April 2009?

If you joined the Ministry after 2 April 2009, then your remediation period begins on the date you commenced employment with us.

When and how will I be paid?

If you are eligible for a payment, we’ll contact you via email or letter using the details we currently hold.

This letter will request specific documentation to be returned to us and a payment will be made to your nominated bank account after we have verified your details.

If you haven’t heard from us and believe you may have been affected, then please complete our online webform and we'll be in touch.

Holidays Act remediation enquiry webform

How much will I be paid?

Earnings history and leave patterns are unique, so each employee's payments have been recalculated individually for the remediation period of 2 April 2009 to your last day of duty. As a result, each payment amount will be different.

The average payment value to former employees is $375.

Will payments include interest?

No.

How will my remediation payment affect my income tax or benefits?

The remediation payments have been treated as an ‘extra pay’ for tax purposes. We encourage you to contact other relevant organisations, such as Inland Revenue, for advice about whether this payment affects any agreements you have with them about your current earnings, benefits, child support or any other matters.

The Inland Revenue website contains useful information on the tax treatment of lump sum payments such as an arrears payment. You can also contact Inland Revenue directly on 0800 227 774.

How will KiwiSaver and superannuation contributions be managed?

KiwiSaver deductions and contributions will be calculated as part of the remediation payment.

Other superannuation contributions won't be calculated or deducted due to the way in which they're calculated.

How will student loan repayments be managed?

Student loan repayments will be calculated as part of the remediation payment.

When will the next round of remediation payments be made?

The next round of remediation payments will be made once the Ministry has implemented the new payroll system and is fully compliant with the Holidays Act 2003. At this stage, we expect this to be around mid-2020.

The dates this payment will cover will be 3 October 2019 until the date the Ministry is compliant with the Holidays Act 2003.

What happens if the person you're trying to contact is now deceased?

Where a former employee is deceased, and would have been eligible for a payment, contact will be made through their known Executor of Estate. If you're aware of this information and you wish to advise us of the details, please contact the team at HolidayActPayments@justice.govt.nz and we'll work through the appropriate process.

What if I’d like to donate my payment?

If you wish to donate your payment, you'll still need to follow the same process to claim your payment.  Please note that payment can only be made to the person that payment relates to.

What happens if I decide not to claim my payment owed?

In line with section 6, 7 and 8 of the Unclaimed Monies Act 1971, where monies have not been claimed they will be passed onto the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

What should I do if I receive a letter or email from the Ministry but I'm unsure whether it’s legitimate?

We're in the process of sending correspondence out to eligible former employees, and we understand that some people might want to verify the source as trustworthy before they respond.

If you receive an email, it should only come from HolidaysActPayments@justice.govt.nz

We'll only ask you to send your information to our above email address or the following postal address:

Holidays Act Payments Team
C/- National Office
Ministry of Justice
SX10088
Wellington

Still have questions?

If you have a query that hasn't been addressed through the information on these pages and the commonly asked questions above, you can contact us at HolidaysActPayments@justice.govt.nz