Labour sceptical about holiday pay change

  • 31/10/2014

Labour suspects workers will be worse off if the government changes the way holiday pay is calculated.

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse says employers have "longstanding concerns" that he's going to consider.

Labour's acting deputy leader, Annette King, says the government should be upfront about its intentions.

"Calculating annual leave differently is likely to see workers losing even more of their holiday entitlements," she said today.

Mr Woodhouse said in an interview with Radio New Zealand employers were concerned about some aspects of the Holidays Act.

"There's been some longstanding concerns about the complexities of the calculation of relevant daily pay, and as a former CEO of a hospital which employed a lot of workers on night shift and at weekends I understand that," he said.

Mr Woodhouse says he'll "have a look at our legislative priorities" and isn't going any further than that.

The manager of employment relations at BusinessNZ, Paul Mackay, says changes are necessary because not all people work nine to five, Monday to Friday.

"If you take a person working the classic 12-hour shift, they will work 36 hours one week and 48 the next," he said.

"If you pay them on an hourly basis they will get 36 hours pay one week and 48 hours the next, and if you pay them on a salaried basis there's an average 42 hours."

Mr Mackay says that opens the question of what a week is when they take leave.

"Is the week three days or is the week four days?"

He says a different calculation is needs to "reflect reality".

NZN

source: newshub archive