Questions and answers

Questions and answers about Holidays Act remediation payments.

If your question isn’t answered below, the best way to get in touch is via our query form.

Query form – Schools Payroll Remediation(external link)

Holidays Act non-compliance

What is the Holidays Act?

The Holidays Act 2003 (the Holidays Act) promotes work-life balance by setting out minimum holiday and leave entitlements for employees.

When did the Ministry first become aware of Holidays Act compliance issues?

After we received information about Holidays Act non-compliance from the Public Service Commission and the Labour Inspectorate in March 2016, we engaged an independent organisation to carry out the school sector payroll Holidays Act compliance review.

This review, completed in December 2016, identified high-level areas of non-compliance related to the way different types of leave have been paid.  

Non-compliance with the Holidays Act is widespread across the public and private sectors, with many organisations facing similar issues.

What is Holidays Act remediation?

Holidays Act remediation is the correction of historical payments for leave taken during the remediation period if they have not been calculated and paid as required by the Holidays Act.

What is the remediation period?

The remediation period starts on 1 March 2010 and will continue until the schools payroll is compliant with legislation.

With the agreement of the Labour Inspectorate, we are going back 6 years from the date the Ministry became aware of the Holidays Act issues. As the Ministry became aware of Holidays Act issues in March 2016, we are remediating from 1 March 2010.

This remediation payment covered part of the remediation period – from 4 September 2013 to 27 January 2022.

What is the Ministry doing to address non-compliance with the Holidays Act?

The Ministry is undertaking Holidays Act remediation on behalf of 2,500 schools and for around 200,000 current and former employees across 400,000 jobs. We will make remediation payments to affected current and former school employees to correct errors made from 1 March 2010 onwards.

Addressing Holidays Act non-compliance for the schools payroll is complex and is taking time to complete. In order to pay some of the money owed sooner, we are making remediation payments to some school staff based on initial estimates for some leave types across part of the remediation period.

What progress has the Ministry made so far towards full remediation?

Following an initial review of the schools payroll system in 2016, we have completed significant work to understand the extent of non-compliance with the Holidays Act for current and former school employees.

We’ve also progressed complex work with education sector representatives on remediation principles and payroll data rules.

Work to determine solutions, build and test a remediation calculator, and prepare the large historic payroll dataset for remediation calculations is ongoing.

What are the next steps?

We are continuing work to determine solutions, build and test a remediation calculator, and prepare the large historic payroll dataset for remediation calculations.

Once the data is ready and calculations have been run, we will test the output to validate the results. We will also seek independent assurance of the calculations before payments are made.

In the meantime, we have adapted an existing estimation tool so we can make remediation payments to some school employees. This means some of the money owed can be paid sooner.

Does the schools payroll comply with the Holidays Act now?

Compliance with the Holidays Act will require a range of solutions, including system, process and practice changes. 

Our first focus is ensuring historic errors are addressed.

Once historic errors are addressed, the Ministry is committed to paying remediation on an ongoing basis until the schools payroll is compliant with legislation.  

Which employees are covered by the Ministry’s Holidays Act remediation programme? 

Our Holidays Act remediation programme covers school employees paid through the schools payroll.

The Secretary for Education is charged with providing a schools payroll under the Education and Training Act 2020. Education Payroll Limited delivers this service on the Ministry’s behalf. All state and state-integrated school boards must use the payroll service to pay teachers. With the Ministry’s approval, they may opt out of using the schools payroll to pay non-teaching staff.

If you are unsure whether you are paid through the schools payroll, you can check with your school payroll administrator or principal.

The early childhood education and tertiary sectors are out of scope for this programme of work.

Timing

Why is Holidays Act remediation taking a long time to complete?

We face a unique set of challenges in calculating Holidays Act arrears for the school sector.

While many other organisations across New Zealand have faced similar challenges with the Holidays Act, the size and complexity of the schools payroll means our work is taking longer to complete.

The schools payroll is the largest in New Zealand, with an average of 96,000 school staff paid each fortnight. There are also many complexities resulting from a large number of collective employment agreements with varying terms and conditions, and associated payroll processes and practices that are embedded in the education sector.

When will former employees receive remediation?

Remediation payments for former employees will be made at a later date.

If you are entitled to remediation, we will contact you directly when we are ready to make a payment. If your details have changed since you left the school sector, you may wish to register on the Schools Payroll Remediation Portal to make sure we can reach you in the future.

Schools Payroll Remediation Portal(external link)

Scope of payment

Who received the November 2023 remediation payment?

Around 4,500 school employees received a payment in this round.

This payment was based on an initial estimate for public holidays on days that are otherwise working days for:

  • specialist and support staff who are paid via timesheets
  • casual employees.

If you did not receive a payment, there could be several reasons for this. For example:

  • you may not be due a Holidays Act payment
  • you may not be a casual employee or a specialist or support worker paid via timesheets
  • you might be owed a payment for a leave type yet to be addressed, or for an error outside of the period covered by this payment.  

We won’t be able to confirm whether you are due Holidays Act remediation until we’ve completed further calculations to fully address historic Holidays Act errors. 

Which leave type and date range was covered by this payment?

This payment was based on an initial estimate for public holidays on days that would have been otherwise working days for:

  • specialist and support staff who are paid via timesheets 
  • casual employees. 

It covers the period from 4 September 2013 to 27 January 2022.

As this payment was based on an initial estimate, further calculations for this leave type and time period may differ. We will complete more calculations to fully address historic Holidays Act errors once the data is prepared and the Holidays Act remediation calculator is ready.

Who was eligible for this remediation payment?

To have been eligible for this payment, you must:

  • be a casual employee or specialist or support staff paid via timesheet
  • be due remediation for public holidays on days that would have been otherwise working days for you between 4 September 2013 and 27 January 2022
  • have been paid in the 6 pay periods before 17 October 2023 or on long-term unpaid leave in all 6 of these pay periods.

Those who received a payment received remediation for both current and former jobs where applicable.

What is an 'otherwise working day'?

Employees get a paid day off on public holidays if it is an 'otherwise working day' for them.

An otherwise working day is a day that an employee would have been working had the day not been a public holiday.

About the payment

How do I find out if I received a payment?

If you received a payment in this round, it was included in your normal pay on 28 November 2023.

If your payslip is usually emailed to you, we will have contacted you directly on the payment date with details about your payment, including the gross amount (before tax and deductions) for each job covered.

Why haven’t I received a payment?

If you did not receive a payment in this round, there could be several reasons for this. For example:

  • you may not be due Holidays Act remediation
  • you may not be a casual employee or a specialist or support worker paid via timesheets
  • you might be owed remediation for a leave type yet to be addressed, or for an error outside of the period covered by this payment.

We won’t be able to confirm whether or not you are due Holidays Act remediation until we’ve completed further calculations to fully address historic Holidays Act errors.

Where can I find my payslip?

Your payslip is emailed to the address provided to Education Payroll Limited. In a small number of cases, payslips are posted to the physical address provided.

What is the password for my payslip?

The password for your payslip is your 7-digit Ministry of Education (MoE) number. If you don’t know your MoE number, check with your school administrator or payroll authorised user.

What happens if you pay me more than I am owed?

When we run more remediation calculations, you will receive the difference between the total amount owed and any amount already paid.

In the unlikely event that we pay you more than the total amount you are owed, we will not recover overpayments.

How did you calculate this payment?

While the Holidays Act remediation calculator is under development, we have adapted an existing estimation tool to complete calculations based on reduced set of data conforming and remediation rules.

Using the estimation tool, we have calculated the amount due to casual employees and specialist and support staff who are paid via timesheets for public holidays that have been identified as an otherwise working day for them.

After we complete additional work on the data, we will use the Holidays Act remediation calculator to calculate individual amounts owing across all leave types for the full remediation period (from 1 March 2010).

As this payment was based on an initial estimate, further calculations for the leave type and time period covered may differ.

How do I keep myself safe from phishing scams?

Phishing is when someone uses an email, text or phone call to try and get access to sensitive information (like bank account numbers and passwords).

If you received a payment in this round, it was included with your normal pay on 28 November 2023.

We will also email you on the payment date using the email address that Education Payroll Limited uses to distribute payslips.

For schools payroll remediation payments, we will never ask you for your bank account login or password. Any information you receive from us will direct you to the Ministry of Education’s website.

More information about phishing scams is available on the Netsafe website.

Phishing scams – Netsafe website(external link)

Tax, benefits and interest

How will my payment be taxed?

Your remediation payment is treated as a lump sum payment. Income tax and ACC contributions have been deducted using the tax code Education Payroll Limited holds for you.

Getting lump sum payments – Inland Revenue(external link) [PDF, 73 KB]

Will KiwiSaver and student loan contributions be deducted from my payment? 

Yes, if you are a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, employee and employer contributions will be calculated as part of the payment process. Student loan repayments will also be deducted as required by law.

Will the payment affect any benefits I receive or payments I make, for example, child support payments?

Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development have advice about whether your payment affects any benefit, tax credits or other support payments you receive or make.

Getting lump sum payments – Inland Revenue(external link) [PDF, 73 KB]

Do you need to declare income? – Ministry of Social Development(external link)

You can contact them with questions:

Contact us – Inland Revenue(external link)

Getting in touch – Ministry of Social Development(external link)

Will I receive interest on my remediation payment?

No interest is payable on remediation payments.

Contact the team

My question isn’t answered above, how do I get in touch with the team?

For questions about Holidays Act remediation or the wider schools payroll remediation programme, the best way to get in touch is via our query form.

Query form – Schools Payroll Remediation(external link)

 You can also contact the team by:

To ensure we only release personal payroll information to the correct person, please provide the team with your:

  • full name
  • Ministry of Education (MoE) number
  • date of birth
  • IRD number.

For other payroll related questions, talk to your school’s payroll authorised user in the first instance.

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