Number of payroll investigations jumps significantly in New Zealand Number of payroll investigations jumps significantly in New Zealand

Number of payroll investigations jumps significantly in New Zealand
26 Feb 2018

The number of payroll investigations in New Zealand has risen dramatically.

According to Radio New Zealand, 91 employers were investigated and found to be breaking payroll laws during the 18 months to October last year. In contrast, there were just 20 investigations during the whole of the previous four years.

But the average arrears paid by employers fell from NZ$1,800 (US$1,333) per worker to NZ$700 (US$518), amounting to about $900,000 (US$666,191) that has been paid back to 7,200 workers across the country. In approximately a third of cases, no enforcement action has been taken as the Labour Inspectorate is still in discussions with the relevant employer.

The figures do not cover the New Zealand Police Force, which has already paid out NZ$39 million (US$29 million) following a series of payroll errors in 2016. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said more payments were also due to come while it awaits the implementation of a new compliant payroll system.

The Ministry, which includes the Labour Inspectorate, has set aside NZ$10 million (US$7 million) to cover its own payroll errors and is about to replace its 20-year-old payroll system. A Ministry response under the Official Information Act revealed that it plans to ask for Cabinet approval once it has received full costings.

 Gill Oliver

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

The number of payroll investigations in New Zealand has risen dramatically.

According to Radio New Zealand, 91 employers were investigated and found to be breaking payroll laws during the 18 months to October last year. In contrast, there were just 20 investigations during the whole of the previous four years.

But the average arrears paid by employers fell from NZ$1,800 (US$1,333) per worker to NZ$700 (US$518), amounting to about $900,000 (US$666,191) that has been paid back to 7,200 workers across the country. In approximately a third of cases, no enforcement action has been taken as the Labour Inspectorate is still in discussions with the relevant employer.

The figures do not cover the New Zealand Police Force, which has already paid out NZ$39 million (US$29 million) following a series of payroll errors in 2016. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said more payments were also due to come while it awaits the implementation of a new compliant payroll system.

The Ministry, which includes the Labour Inspectorate, has set aside NZ$10 million (US$7 million) to cover its own payroll errors and is about to replace its 20-year-old payroll system. A Ministry response under the Official Information Act revealed that it plans to ask for Cabinet approval once it has received full costings.

 Gill Oliver

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

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