The Employment Relations Authority has found an employer guilty of not complying with an Improvement Notice from a Labour Inspector in relation to Public Holiday pay.

The Inspector had issued an Improvement Notice after inspecting the wage and time records of the employer and discovering that people who worked on Public Holidays were not correctly paid for the time worked and were not given an alternative day’s paid holiday.

In addition people who did not work on a Public Holiday, but who would otherwise have worked, were not paid for the Public Holiday.

The employer claimed that the workers did not normally work on the day of the week the Public Holiday fell and therefore were not entitled to be paid.  However, on examination of the records it showed that on average the workers worked 32 of the previous 35 weeks on the day when the Public Holiday fell.

The ERA found that the employer was not paying the correct holiday pay as an illegal business decision to save money.

As well as ordering that all former employees be paid the back pay owed to them for the Public Holiday and alternative days, it also fined the employer $7,000.

It is important to get your pay systems in line with the legislation.  Any failure to do so can result in significant penalties.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer