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Holidays Act payroll remediation for past employees

Former employees who worked for Massey University between 8 May 2012 and 22 August 2021 may be eligible for remedial payments related to the Holidays Act 2003.

Holidays Act payroll remediation

Massey University has become aware, along with other government agencies, crown owned entities and large employers that our payroll systems and processes have led to some miscalculated pay entitlements for some people under the Holidays Act 2003 (The Act).

The calculations for current staff are complete and ready for payment.

Calculations for former employees are underway and we expect to commence contacting all affected former employees by the end of February 2022 to advise of any amount they are owed.

The remediation period is between 8 May 2012 and 22 August 2021.

A lot of people are not due any payment because the issues largely related to employees who had fluctuating work patterns, worked additional hours or were paid additional allowances. Payments will be made where the amount calculated is $20 or more. Amounts less than this will not be paid due to the administrative cost of making the payments.

If you have received a letter from us saying you are due for a payment you should register for this payment using the online form. This will be available on our website from 1 February 2022.

If you have not received a letter, you should read the Q&A section to determine if you believe you are entitled to a payment.

You also can elect to donate some or all your payment to the Massey University Foundation’s Student Hardship Bursary programme. More details are available on the Massey University Foundation website.

If you know of past employees who have moved address or are now overseas that previously had fluctuating work patterns, worked additional hours or were paid additional allowances, please either contact them and direct them to the information on the Massey website or tell them to send their contact details by email to leave.remediation@massey.ac.nz

Holidays Act payroll remediation Q&As

Why are these payments being made?


Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) audited the University’s leave payments and identified some areas of non-compliance with the Act. Most employers and system suppliers had a common interpretation which has been identified as not aligned to the intent of the Act. Following the Audit Massey has entered into an agreement with MBIE to:

  1. correct history back to 2012 and
  2. correct our current system calculations going forward.

Not all employees over that time were affected. The issues largely relate to employees who had fluctuating work patterns, worked additional hours or were paid additional allowances.

During 2019/2020 a very complex algorithm was built which recalculates the correct historic payments for staff and recalculates leave balances. This will be used for making retrospective payments to current and ceased staff.

How do I know if I’m eligible for payment or not?

Current employees will be sent an email in early October advising whether they are eligible for a payment.

In February 2022, former employees who are entitled to a payment will be sent a letter by post or email to their last known address or email address from last time of employment by Massey. If you did not receive this letter and believe you are entitled to a payment, you can submit a claim on the Claim Form on the Massey website. This will be available from 1 February 2022.

What documents do I need to make a claim?

If you are a former employee, we will send a letter to your address or email. Once received you should complete the online Claim Form, which will be available online from 1 February 2022.

You will need to provide:

  • Proof of identity – passport, birth certificate or certificate of citizenship
  • Tax code and IRD Number: a signed Tax Code Declaration (IR330) available from Inland Revenue
  • Bank account details – a bank document confirming bank account number – deposit slip or letter of confirmation.

I am a past employee who did not receive a letter or email notification

If you have not received notification of eligibility for a payment by the end of February 2022, this may be because we did not have their current contact details, or they are not eligible for a payment. If they believe they should receive a payment, please ask them to complete the Claim form on the Massey website.

I am a current employee and did not receive a letter or email notification

All current employees who are eligible for a payment will be paid this in the pay on 20 October 2021. Current employees who are not eligible for a payment will be sent a letter advising of this.

If you are a current employee and believe you should receive a payment and have not received a letter to confirm this, you should send an email to leave.remediation@massey.ac.nz.

Who is owed a payment?

You may be eligible for a payment if you were employed by Massey at some time between 8 May 2012 and 22 August 2021.

Not all employees over that time were affected. The issues largely relate to employees who had fluctuating work patterns, worked additional hours or were paid additional allowances.

A payment is owed where there is a difference between what was paid for the leave day and what should have been paid if the correct calculation has been made. The total calculated is a gross amount, from which income tax will be deducted, in accordance with income tax requirements. Inland Revenue can advise employees on the possible tax and other financial impacts of receiving a payment.

Will I be asked to repay any overpayment found relating to the Holidays Act changes?

During this process we have identified a number of overpayments which we will not be seeking to recover or offset against any underpayments.

How much will it be?

If you are entitled to a payment and have verified your identity, we will send advice of the payment amount at the time of payment. Any payments will be less PAYE and Kiwi Saver/UniSaver, if you have a current KiwiSaver or UniSaver membership.

When will current employees receive payment?

Current employees will receive payment up to 22 August 2021 in the normal payrun on 20 October 2021.

When will the payment be made to past employees?

For past employees entitled to a payment the planned payment dates are as follows:

Cut off date for validation of form and documents Payment dates
10 March 2022 24 March 2022
7 April 2022 21 April 2022
5 May 2022 19 May 2022
16 June 2022 30 June 2022
14 July 2022 28 July 2022
11 August 2022 25 August 2022
8 September 2022 22 September 2022

How can I claim on behalf of a deceased person or someone whom I hold Power of Attorney?

You will need to provide documentation to verify your identity and to confirm you are authorised to act on behalf of the estate or person.

You should complete the online claim form and add the proof of identity and authority documents.

What tax impacts will there be on payments?

Tax on these payments for current employees will be automatically managed in the Payroll so current employees do not need to advise of any taxation requirements.

For former employees, you will need to provide a tax code declaration with a tax code that can be used for this payment when you complete the claim form.

We encourage you to contact the relevant organisations such as Inland Revenue for advice about whether your remediation payment affects any agreement you have with them about your current earnings, benefits, child support or any other matters.

The Inland Revenue website has useful information on tax treatment of lump sum payments such as this: Lump sum payments (ird.govt.nz)

You can contact the IRD directly on 0800 775 247 for NZ residents or +64 8 952 5914 for past and present employees currently living overseas or by using your MyIR account.

How do I donate some or all my payment to the Student Hardship Bursary programme?

Current employees who wish to donate to the Student Hardship Bursary programme by payroll deduction should complete and sign the Student Hardship Bursary donation form before 13 October 2021. The form is available on the staff intranet.

Past employees who wish to donate part or all of their repayment to the Student Hardship Bursary programme can arrange this when they make their claim. The donation form will be available from 1 February 2022..

What happens once I’ve lodged a claim form?

For former employees, once we receive and verify your documentation, your payment will be processed and deposited into your nominated bank account.

Dates for payment are based on the validation dates. If we need more information from you to process your claim we will get in touch.

A schedule of payment dates is included with the answer to the question When will the payment be made to past employees? above.

Will my payment include interest or compensation?

We will not be paying interest or compensation because the issues have led to employees receiving both underpayments and overpayments. We will not be seeking repayment of overpayments.

How will you pay me if my bank account has changed?

If you are a current employee, we will be using the bank account we have on file for you, where you receive your salary or wages payments.

If you are a former employer, you are asked to provide your bank account details when you complete your verification form (form available from 1 February 2022).

How can I check if you have my current address and contact details?

Please email the correct details to leave.remediation@massey.ac.nz

Why has it taken so long to organise these payments?

The Holidays Act 2003 is a complex piece of legislation to apply. We have worked at length with our payroll software provider to correct the payroll system.

Once the issues were identified we undertook a thorough investigation because we wanted to ensure that all our employees have been paid their entitlements and a robust process is implemented to ensure the back payments and future payments are correct.

Have the issues that led to this underpayment been resolved?

The resolution of the issues was actioned in the Payroll/HR system from 23 August 2021 in the payroll paid on 8 September 2021.

We have been working with a Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment inspector to validate the extent of the issues and ensure that remediation meets legislated requirements.

What involvement has my Union had?

The Union has been consulted on the approach to arrears payments and resolving the issues going forward.

Contact us about any further questions you may have

You can email your query to leave.remediation@massey.ac.nz