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 Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels