24 Sep 2016

Workers repaid $35m in holiday and leave pay

8:49 am on 24 September 2016

Close to 26,000 workers across the public and private sectors have had to be repaid to the tune of $35 million because of payroll botch-ups around holiday pay and other leave.

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Money paid out to employees ranged from $55 - $1800. Photo: 123rf.com

The latest information released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to the Council of Trade Unions shows that at the end of July, investigations carried out by the labour inspectorate found 25 employers in breach of the Holidays Act.

These included Bunnings, Silver Fern Farms, Datacom and a number of smaller companies.

The ministry said workers have been paid out a total of $35m, with individual employees getting amounts ranging from $55 to $1800.

A number of other companies including Downer, The Warehouse, Fonterra, Fairfax and Farmers are still being investigated, as are some public sector agencies.

Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said he was not surprised by the scale of problems uncovered by the labour inspectorate.

He said he suspected the issues were far more widespread and the labour inspectorate needed more resources to be able to look into them.

Earlier this year it was revealed MBIE had potentially underpaid many of its staff because of problems with their payroll around the calculation of holiday pay and other leave.

Police had to repay current and former staff tens of millions of dollars.