Holidays Act FAQs

What are the issues?

Our independent audit picked up three separate issues that were identified with the previous payroll systems at Public Trust:

  • Using the correct average weekly earnings and ordinary weekly pay for annual leave calculations.
  • Correct calculations of bereavement leave, sick leave, alternative holidays and public holidays using relevant daily pay.
  • Correctly calculating annual leave on termination.

These are nationwide issues that involve many different organisations across multiple industries. Public Trust has been proactive to date and has now fixed the issues.

Because of the issues with interpretation of the Holidays Act, the government has announced a Holidays Act review. For more information, see https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/employment-and-skills/employment-legislation-reviews/holidays-act-review/

Who is affected by this issue?

The issue affects some individuals who were employed by Public Trust between 16 February 2011 and 15 November 2017.

Not all employees who worked during this period are affected, as their holiday pay was calculated correctly or at a higher rate.

We are currently working through the final stages to contact former and current employees who have been affected.

What period does the back payment cover?

All affected employees will receive a back payment that relates to the period from 19 February 2011 to 15 November 2017.

Current affected employees will receive a back payment up until the day the new payroll system fixed any issues (15 November 2017).

Former affected employees will receive a back payment from 16 February 2011 (or when they started) to 15 November 2017 (or when they finished).

How do I know if I'm entitled to a back payment?

We are contacting all affected employees who are owed a back payment. This includes all former employees using their last known home address, email address or mobile number.

If you have not been contacted and believe you may have been affected or are a former employee and have moved since your employment ended, please contact us, using the contact form or email PayrollReview@PublicTrust.co.nz.

Why haven't I received a letter advising what I'm owed?

Some employees are not affected by the issues as they were paid correctly when leave was taken and/or did not work overtime.

If you are a former employee, your letter may be on its way to you or we may not have up-to-date contact information. If you believe you may be eligible, please contact us using the contact form or email PayrollReview@PublicTrust.co.nz.

How much will my back payment be?

Payments to affected employees vary by individual circumstances, including leave patterns and history.

Any back payments will be subject to PAYE deductions and KiwiSaver/employee superannuation deductions.

How are back payments calculated?

We have used an independent third-party payroll specialist to investigate payroll issues, identify affected employees and calculate back-dated amounts for payment. This approach has been used by other organisations that have had similar issues.

What happens once I've lodged a claim form?

Once we receive and verify your documentation, you will be notified as to whether a back payment is due to you. If it is, you will be asked to ‘accept’ the payment via an online form, and the payment will be processed and deposited into your nominated bank account on the last Friday of the month, provided verification takes place by the 20th of that month. If we need more information from you to process your claim, we will get in touch.

What steps have been taken to ensure my future holiday pay is correct?

From November 2017, Public Trust began using a new payroll system that is compliant with the Holidays Act legislation.

When will I be paid?

Entitlements for affected employees, including current and former employees, will be made on a monthly basis (on the last Friday of each month).

What documents do I need to make a claim?

If you are a former employee, we have sent an email to your last known email address (or by text or letter in some cases) detailing the documentation we require from you.

Public Trust will require the following documents to be sent to PayrollReview@PublicTrust.co.nz :

  • Proof of identity (both sides if double sided) : passport or driver licence.
  • Verification question: what were the dates you were employed at Public Trust?

Once the verification process is completed, you will receive an email to confirm whether a back payment is due to you. We will then complete the payroll process and you will receive an email that provides a link to the Affinity Payroll system. We will require the following details to be loaded:

  • Tax code, IRD number, KiwiSaver and bank account details.

Current employees do not need to provide any documentation.

How do I claim on behalf of someone who has passed away or someone for whom I hold power of attorney?

We need to verify your identity and confirm that you are authorised to act on behalf of the estate or person before processing any back payments.

If you believe you may be entitled to a back payment on behalf of an estate or a person for whom you hold power of attorney, please get in touch.

How can I check if you have my current details?

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

If you are a former employee, once the verification process is completed, we will provide a logon to the Affinity Payroll system. We will require you to load your up-to-date bank account details onto the Payroll system.

Please email PayrollReview@PublicTrust.co.nz if you have any questions.

What happens to my KiwiSaver contributions? 

As the back payment is a lump sum payment, the following deductions/contributions will impact this payment:

  • PAYE (tax)
  • Student loan
  • KiwiSaver – if you are a current KiwiSaver member

Additionally, with KiwiSaver, Public Trust will provide the legislated employer contribution as required.

Why do former employees need to provide extra documentation?

To ensure you receive the back payment owed to you, we must verify your identify and information relating to your KiwiSaver, tax and bank account.

What happens if a remediation payment hasn't been paid?

All back payments will stay with Public Trust for a period of 6 years from the date of 6 February 2020. If the payments are not claimed within the 6-year period, they will then go to IRD as unclaimed monies. This will then need to be claimed and processed through IRD.

How will my remediation payment affect my tax?

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

We advise you to check with IRD what tax code you need to submit for any back pay you receive so you don’t end up with a tax bill at the end of the year. Have a look at their website for more information: https://www.ird.govt.nz/tasks/calculate-paye-for-a-lump-sum-payment

You can contact the IRD directly on 0800 227 774.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Please email PayrollReview@PublicTrust.co.nz or contact us on 0800 371 471 (8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday).