14 Mar 2020

Holidays Act arrears payments top more than $100m

3:50 pm on 14 March 2020

About 165,000 workers have been paid back more than $100m total in holiday and shift pay arrears, new figures show.

New Zealand Dollar Closeup

Photo: 123RF

At the low end, one employer had to pay out an average of just $29 per employee, but another employer's average amount was as high as $8000.

Some 57 employers have paid out $500 or less per employee, but 17 have paid out $1000 or more to each worker.

So far, 94 employers have had to pay arrears, out of 168 audited by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in the five or so years since mass breaches of the complex Holidays Act came to light.

A further 40 or so audits are under way.

Thousands more public agencies and private companies are estimated to owe billions of dollars for breaches, including more than half a billion dollars owed by the 20 district health boards.

The Act is being reviewed, but that is taking longer than expected.

The $108m in total arrears payouts includes more than $45m at NZ Police.

The audits are being done only of organisations with at least 20 employees.

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