What are the issues?
ATNZ has undertaken a voluntary review of how we have calculated holiday pay, annual leave, bereavement, public holiday, alternate day, sick, and family violence leave under the Holidays Act 2003. As with many other companies and Government departments, we have found that some historic calculations have not been fully compliant with the Act. We have worked closely with independent companies Grant Thornton and Resolve Pay to review all apprentice payments over the past six years since we first learned that some payments may have been in error.
Our consultants found that some payments for individual apprentices have been underpaid, and some have been overpaid. These errors have arisen partly through the complexity of applying the Act in cases where actual working hours and overtime vary each week as they do for many apprentices. In other cases, we still needed to set up our payroll system and processes to ensure complete compliance.
These are New Zealand-wide issues that have affected many different organisations over multiple industries. ATNZ has been very proactive in assessing our employees’ pay.
How do I know if I’m entitled to a back payment?
We are contacting all affected employees for who we owe a back payment, including former employees over the investigated period. We will contact them via their last known email address in the first instance and, if necessary, via post.
We will pay all current apprentices via payroll during December 2022. In addition, we will email all terminated ATNZ apprentices with a back payment due to their last known email address.
We have set up a contact email address to handle claims and queries We will assess claims upon receipt of complete documentation. Upon receiving an email from you and the provision of proof of verification, ATNZ will send out a claim form to you for completion.
How much will my back payments 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.
Who is affected by this issue?
The issue affects some individuals who were employed by ATNZ between 29 March 2016 to 31 October 2022.
Not all employees who worked during this time period are affected, as their holiday pay was calculated correctly or at a higher rate.
We are starting to contact affected former and current employees of ATNZ.
What period does the back payment cover?
All affected employees will receive a back payment that relates to the period from 29 March 2016 to 31 October 2022.
Current affected employees will receive a back payment up until the day the payroll system fixed any issues 31 October 2022.
Former affected employees will receive a back payment from 29 March 2016 or when they started to 31 October 2022 or when they finished.
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 payment amounts. Other organisations with similar issues have used this approach.
What happens once I’ve lodged a claim form?
Terminated employees must submit a claim form. ATNZ will pay all current employees automatically.
On receipt of a completed claim form and necessary documentation, we will run our checks and if everything is in order, make payment to the bank account provided.
What steps have been taken to ensure my future holiday pay is correct?
ATNZ has worked extensively with our payroll system provider, external consultants and the union to implement processes that ensure we pay all apprentices correctly.
When will I be paid?
We will process and pay current employees in December 2022.
Terminated employees’ processing will begin in January 2023 and will be paid on receipt of all relevant documentation with an allowance for processing time.
What documents do I need to make a claim?
Current employees will not need to submit any documents.
Terminated employees will need to provide the following to
Once we complete the verification process, you will receive an update regarding your claim. If accepted, we will require the following details:
Once we have received all of the relevant details, we will process payment to your provided bank account.
How do I claim on behalf of someone who has passed away or 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 you hold power of attorney, please get in touch.
What happens to my KiwiSaver Contributions?
As the back payment is a lump sum payment, the following deductions/contributions will impact this payment:
Additionally, with KiwiSaver ATNZ will provide the legislated employer contribution as required.
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 your agreement 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 get a big tax bill at the end of the year. Check their website for more information: https://www.ird.govt.co.nz/tasks/calculate-paye-for-a-lump-sum-payment
You can contact the IRD directly at 0800227774.