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Holidays Act payments to former Auckland Council employees

A number of New Zealand organisations incorrectly implemented the Holidays Act legislation, resulting in errors across several types of pay.

What the Holidays Act does

The Holidays Act 2003 sets out the minimum entitlements to holidays and leave, and payment for leave that all New Zealand employers are required to provide to their employees.

The act outlines how permanent and casual employees become entitled to:

  • annual holidays
  • bereavement leave
  • alternative leave
  • public holidays
  • sick leave.

It also explains the calculations that are used to pay these different leave types, and how they change depending on a number of factors.

Holidays Act review

In 2018, the government announced a review of the Holidays Act to bring it up to date with modern workforce practices and set up a taskforce to review the act.

Auckland Council and the Holidays Act

In 2016, we held a review to check our compliance with the Holidays Act.

We discovered that we had incorrectly applied Holidays Act legislation in certain situations. We set up a remediation programme to help us meet our obligations to both current and former employees.

We began emailing former employees in November 2019 and invited them to apply for a remediation payment.

Everyone eligible for a payment would have received an email in early 2020, at the last known address we have on file. We may also have also used the postal addresses or mobile numbers on our records.

We are also contacting former employees, who are not owed a payment, to let them know they aren't eligible.

Who is eligible for a remediation payment

The application process only applies to former employees who worked for Auckland Council during any period between 1 November 2010 and 23 August 2019.

We have asked our eligible former employees to register for payment from November 2020.

Former employees who worked varying hours or were paid varying amounts are most likely to be affected.

We are confident we have all the data required to identify who is and who isn't affected.

Approximately 60 per cent of our employees aren't affected.

If you are a former staff member and haven't heard from us

If you think you might be eligible for a claim and haven't heard from us, you can still email us at holidaysact@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and we will check to see if you're entitled to a payment.

If you know of someone else who you believe may be eligible please let them know that they can email us as above.

How to claim your remediation payment

  • To see if you're owed a payment, you must email us at holidaysact@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
  • We will request more documents to verify your claim.
  • If we find you're entitled to a payment, we'll pay this out as soon as possible.

What you'll need to apply for a remediation payment

When you apply, you'll need your:

  • personal banking details (or approval from another person to pay into their bank account)
  • tax details
  • proof of identity (and any supporting change of name if this is different from when you were employed by us)

The Holidays Act claims process

  1. Start your claim by emailing us at holidaysact@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
  2. We will contact you by email to complete a form to register your claim.
  3. You will be asked to send us the completed form and proof of identity.
  4. Send the form and proof of identity by email.
  5. We will check your claim and advise you of the outcome and any next steps.
  6. We will not be able to let you know any amounts payable to you until payment has been made into your bank account.

How to be sure the amount is correct

We've used Ernst & Young's expertise to review all leave records, payments, and earning data for any period worked between 1 November 2010 and 23 August 2019 and recalculate any leave payments.

The calculations then went through three separate checks to ensure they were correct. The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is fully aware of our calculation methods and processes.

International payments are subject to any fluctuation in exchange rates. Your bank may also charge you to receive an international payment from New Zealand.

You won't receive interest on your payments as this is a genuine error and we are confident that many of the decisions we've made exceed the requirements of the Holidays Act.

Any amount owing will be paid as a lump sum payment and taxed at the rate required by Inland Revenue Department.

Student loan payments will be made as required by law. You'll be asked to complete a tax code declaration form (IR330. To calculate your tax, check the IRD website for a handy calculator.

When to expect payment

  • Once we have validated and verified your claim, we aim to pay you within six weeks of that date.
  • International payments and payments on behalf of another person will take longer.

You should know

You can choose to donate your payment to charity once you have received it.

How to register on behalf of someone else

You can register on behalf of another person.

We will need extra documentation from you to verify your claim, such as:

  • a will where probate has been granted
  • other legal proof of claim (e.g. enduring power of attorney documents).

Which tax code to use when claiming on behalf of a deceased person

  • You should complete the IR330 Tax Declaration form, adding the deceased details to the form.
  • This includes their tax code. If you need help, call Inland Revenue.
  • Do not sign the IR330 on their behalf– leave this part blank.

Information for Kiwisaver members

If you're a KiwiSaver member and would like to make contributions from any claim, complete the KiwiSaver Deduction Form during the claims process.

We'll pay Employer Contributions of three per cent.

How to get a pay slip

You can request a pay slip showing your payment, tax and KiwiSaver on request. Email holidaysact@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Information for non-New Zealand residents

Non-New Zealand residents can register.

We will require proof of your bank account in your country of residence.

This needs to show:

  • your account number
  • your SWIFT/BAN number

Your bank must be able to accept payments from New Zealand.

Any payment made to you will be subject to the exchange rate at the time the money is processed.

You may incur a fee from your bank.

Further information

If you have a question which is not covered here, email holidaysact@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.