Holidays Act Programme (Ministry payroll)

The Holidays Act 2003 was set up to promote work-life balance for employees. It sets out how employers should pay staff for annual holidays, public holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave.

About the Holidays Act programme (Ministry payroll)

You may be aware that along with many other government agencies and New Zealand businesses our Ministry was not compliant with the Holidays Act 2003 due to former system configuration issues and how the allocation of entitlements was calculated at that time.   

In 2020, we began work to review and identify pay errors for all Ministry-employed and paid staff, including former staff. We worked closely with a specialist payroll consultant and went back as far as March 2010. We agreed these dates with our union partners as we started this work.

Holidays Act programme for schools 

We also started the same mahi for the education sector workforce.

Learn more about the Holidays Act programme for schools.

Holidays Act programme (schools payroll)

Remediation process

The remediation process has comprised highly-detailed data corrections and recalculations to check that Ministry employees have received at least their minimum entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003.

The process examined annual, bereavement, family violence, alternative or sick leave and public holidays. Where the minimum entitlements were not met, some current and former employees are eligible to receive a remediation payment.

You are more likely to receive a payment if you have:

  • worked roster or shift arrangements
  • received allowances
  • changed work patterns. 

In September 2022, we finished calculating historic holiday pay errors dating back to March 2010 for Ministry employees and completed an independent quality assurance (IQA) process to ensure our calculations and data corrections are correct.   

Payments for former Ministry employees

We completed payments to current Ministry employees in October 2022 and are now starting payments to former employees. Around 7,000 former employees are entitled to a payment, with about a third being under $100.  

Starting in November 2022, we are contacting all former employees entitled to a payment via the following methods.

  • If we have their mobile phone number, they will receive a text. (Note: To avoid the text looking like SPAM, we will not include a link. We will write the website address to go as “” which people can search themselves.)
  • If we do not have a mobile phone number but have an email address, we will send them an email.
  • If we have neither a mobile phone number nor an email address, we will send them a letter in the post.

In their communication, the former employees will receive a unique code to use in the claimant management portal where they must complete some verification questions. 

Once you have your unique code, go to this page for detailed information about claiming your payment:

Getting a Holidays Act remediation payment

If you are a former employee and think the Ministry may have old contact details for you, email

We are required by law to pay even small amounts  

Some people may be owed very small amounts in remediation – possibly less than one dollar.

The legislation requires us to pay out all payments, regardless of the amount.  

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