Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Holidays Bill fails to meet its objectives

Holidays Bill fails to meet its objectives

Staff re-training costs associated with the Holidays Bill will cost employers over $75 million along with many millions more in making changes to payroll software, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) told the Select Committee hearings this evening.

But the EMA's Employment Relations Manager Peter Tritt told the Committee that EMA is mainly opposed to the Bill on the two main reasons it was developed to remedy.

"The Bill fails to meet its own objectives," Mr Tritt said. "It doesn't make the present law easier to understand or comply with, and the enhancement of employees' minimum leave entitlements will increase non-wage costs of employment thereby reducing the opportunities for growth in employment.

"It is nonsense for the Bill to state it will replace the current law with a less complicated law. The present law though difficult is nonetheless understood and clear in its meaning.

"The proposed new law is just as complicated but neither understood nor clear, and until judicially interpreted, will remain so.

"The Bill's Business Compliance Statement says: 'There will be an overall reduction in compliance costs associated with the proposal due to legislation that is simplified, easier to understand and apply.'

"Staff training for payroll staff and new payroll systems are two examples where the Bill falls down badly. Re-training for payroll administrators at an average of $300 per employer would cost $77.4 million spread nationally across our 258,000 (1999) employers.

"The cost of the new payroll software required will range from upgrades of $250 to new software programmes costing up to 1200-1500 hours at $160 an hour to develop.

"The Bill's foreword asserts: 'The method for calculating annual holiday pay in the full range of circumstances is spelt out in the Bill in order to make the calculations easier to understand and apply.'

"The authors of this opinion clearly never managed a payroll. The general consensus views of those who manage them and who we have consulted extensively, is that the Bill would create complicated legislation that is harder to understand and apply.

"Comments to this effect are in a survey we conducted on the Holidays Bill of a cross section of 646 managers and chief executives representing the full range of business types and sizes.

"One survey respondent said: 'The calculation process for annual leave is unrealistic". Another said: 'The method of calculating the amount payable for annual leave appears to be a dog's breakfast - messy.' The verdict of payroll managers overall was the Bill failed to achieve administrative simplicity.

"The main concerns adding costs to employment costs from our survey were:

* Time and a half, plus a day in lieu, for working on a public


* The explicit prohibition of more than one annual closedown.

* Medical certificates being required only for absences (due to sickness or injury) for five or more consecutive calendar days.

* Unlimited bereavement leave of three days at a time for each

defined bereavement, plus a further one day entitlement in

other circumstances.

* Possible extension of annual leave by one week.

"A major survey (the New Zealand Worker Representation and

Participation Survey by the University of Auckland in association with the Department of Labour) that drew on the opinions of 1000 employees recorded very high levels of employee satisfaction in the workplace.

"One question asked: 'Managers here are understanding about employees having to meet family responsibilities' had 41.1% employees strongly in agreement with a further 47.1% agreeing.

"Evidence such as this indicates there is no need for regulation of workplaces in this regard - if it's not broken what is Government trying to fix?"

EMA provided alternative wording to remedy 14 specific recommendations.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages