29 May 2018

Holidays Act overhaul won't hurt workers - minister

6:52 pm on 29 May 2018

The workplace relations minister is promising no worker will be left worse off by an overhaul of the Holidays Act.

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway

Iain Lees-Galloway said he was confident they could come up with a solution where people's entitlements were not reduced. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The government has set up a taskforce with business and union representatives to tackle a payroll mess which has left thousands of people out of pocket.

Many employers have been underpaying their staff for years due to mistakes calculating holiday pay.

Workplace relations minister Iain Lees-Galloway wanted the taskforce to come up with ways to simplify the law - without disadvantaging workers.

"I'm very confident that we can come up with a solution where people's entitlements are not reduced, that's a requirement as far as I'm concerned."

Business New Zealand has applauded the move toward sorting out the payroll mess.

Spokesman John Milford said it was no surprise businesses made errors, given the unwieldy legislation.

"They are impeded by this law that actually means they have to check three times, three calculations for every employee, and actually the only way to really check is to do a manual calculation, that's how complicated this really is."

The business community was committed to getting it right, he said.

Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said the council was looking forward to helping overhaul the Holidays Act and would approach the matter with an open mind.

Mr Wagstaff said he was committed to finding a way to simplify the law, without leaving workers worse off.

The CTU wanted a law which was both fair and accessible.

The group will make recommendations in a year, Mr Lees-Galloway said.

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