Bunnings pays out millions in New Zealand dollars after holiday pay errors Bunnings pays out millions in New Zealand dollars after holiday pay errors

Bunnings pays out millions in New Zealand dollars after holiday pay errors
02 Jul 2018

New Zealand hardware chain Bunnings is to pay out more than NZ$11 million ($6.5 million) to past and current employees after discovering mistakes in holiday pay.

Following errors in implementing the Holidays Act 2003, the firm has recalculated all leave payments from 1 April 2004 to 31 May 2018 and said it will increase the amount underpaid in line with the Consumer Price Index. The errors have affected 12,235 employees, who will receive a median payment of NZ$317 (US$188) each. 

In May, the Government formed a task force that included representatives from government, business and workers to recommend changes to the Holidays Act 2003.  Business has long argued that compliance is overly complex, particularly in light of rising numbers of part-time and casual workers. The task force aims to recommend changes to the Act by mid-2019.

Bunnings NZ general manager Toby Lawrance told Newsroom.pro that the company would ensure employees are paid correctly until a permanent solution can be implemented.

"Like many other private and government organisations, we have found interpreting and applying the Holiday Act to be a challenge,” he said. “As a large employer in New Zealand, we understand the importance of the trust that exists between our team and the business, particularly in ensuring they are paid correctly.”

While the situation was “disappointing for us and for our team”, Lawrence added the company would “continue to work to ensure that we have the right systems and processes to support our team".

Back payments for current staff are already being made and past employees are being contacted at their last known address. Bunnings said anyone who thinks they may be affected should submit a claim form on the company’s website.

Data from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment indicates that between July 2012 and March 2018, non-compliance with the act had resulted in 51 employers paying arrears to 18,100 workers at a total cost of NZ$6.14 million (US$3.64 million).

On top of this, the police force has also made six arrears payments totalling NZ$39 million ($US$23.1 million), with more payments due to come as it awaits the implementation of a new compliant payroll system.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.§

New Zealand hardware chain Bunnings is to pay out more than NZ$11 million ($6.5 million) to past and current employees after discovering mistakes in holiday pay.

Following errors in implementing the Holidays Act 2003, the firm has recalculated all leave payments from 1 April 2004 to 31 May 2018 and said it will increase the amount underpaid in line with the Consumer Price Index. The errors have affected 12,235 employees, who will receive a median payment of NZ$317 (US$188) each. 

In May, the Government formed a task force that included representatives from government, business and workers to recommend changes to the Holidays Act 2003.  Business has long argued that compliance is overly complex, particularly in light of rising numbers of part-time and casual workers. The task force aims to recommend changes to the Act by mid-2019.

Bunnings NZ general manager Toby Lawrance told Newsroom.pro that the company would ensure employees are paid correctly until a permanent solution can be implemented.

"Like many other private and government organisations, we have found interpreting and applying the Holiday Act to be a challenge,” he said. “As a large employer in New Zealand, we understand the importance of the trust that exists between our team and the business, particularly in ensuring they are paid correctly.”

While the situation was “disappointing for us and for our team”, Lawrence added the company would “continue to work to ensure that we have the right systems and processes to support our team".

Back payments for current staff are already being made and past employees are being contacted at their last known address. Bunnings said anyone who thinks they may be affected should submit a claim form on the company’s website.

Data from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment indicates that between July 2012 and March 2018, non-compliance with the act had resulted in 51 employers paying arrears to 18,100 workers at a total cost of NZ$6.14 million (US$3.64 million).

On top of this, the police force has also made six arrears payments totalling NZ$39 million ($US$23.1 million), with more payments due to come as it awaits the implementation of a new compliant payroll system.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.§

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