Flaws take leave of holiday pay

Sharn Riggs –

It is likely that thousands of people working in universities, polytechnics and wānanga have had holiday pay taken from them.

The government needs to act to remove the six-year time limit on employers’ duty to keep payroll records.

Without those records, people may lose the chance to get their holiday pay back while they wait for employers and the government to fix the problem.

Many payroll services in tertiary education institutions are likely to have flaws in their systems that short-change working people of their holiday pay.

People working irregular hours or who claim allowances for working outside their usual hours are most likely to have lost holiday pay. For people working at universities, polytechnics and wananga, this could include many casual employees such as tutors, administrators, technicians and librarians.

Some of these working people with casual and insecure jobs are the people who most need their bosses to pay them fairly.

They need government to ensure that they will not be short-changed.

The government has known about this problem for nearly two years before making it public. It estimates that New Zealanders could have lost over $2 billion of holiday pay.

Sharn Riggs is National Secretary of Tertiary Education Union.

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