Holidays Act reviews highlight issues

MERAS Logo for AGM Notice

The review of Holidays Act compliance conducted by Ernst and Young at the three Auckland Metro DHBs has identified 18 areas of non-compliance relating to Annual Leave and BAPSF (bereavement leave, alternative days, public holidays, sick leave and family violence leave).

The DHBs are working through a process that was agreed with the health sector unions and MBIE after it was realised that all DHBs had issues with their payroll systems in complying with the Holidays Act.

The process is in three stages:

  • Review (of the current payroll systems)
  • Rectification (fixing mistakes)
  • Remediation (paying employees past and present what they are owed as a result of the mistakes).

Northland, Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs have now completed the review phase. Jill has been representing MERAS on the steering groups at each DHB and local MERAS representatives are assisting payroll managers and the auditors in sampling pay records and finding areas of non-compliance.

Payroll staff and the payroll provider for the Auckland Metro DHBs (Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs) met this week to work on a plan to fix the errors in their payroll system. This process will take up to nine months.

Working out the pay arrears owed to staff back to 2010 (including those who have left the DHBs in the time period) will take a further nine months. Thus, any payments are likely to be in the second half of 2021.

Reviews are now underway at Waikato, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Hawkes Bay, Whanganui, Capital and Coast, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Nelson-Marlborough, Canterbury and West Coast, and South Canterbury DHBs.

The DHBs nationally are looking at setting up a national website that will enable employees who have moved from one DHB to another or have left DHBs in the last 10 years to register their details so they can be contacted with any backpay owed to them.