Author: David Jenkins, NZPPA CEO

It has been interesting to see that the much-hyped Better Rules process has been silent since December last year.  I am not a fan, and I am honest on that and have raised numerous issues on the process, even writing several letters to the Minister (a waste of time from the spin and hype responses he provided).  I do not believe the unproven Better Rules approach can provide what is needed to resolve the complexity of the Holidays Act in becoming more simplified and usable in payroll and payroll software.  This is because payroll has had no real opportunity to be heard in this process (especially small business).  The 22 recommendations from the Holidays Act review push what payroll can and cannot do to the side in blind adherence to meeting those recommendations.

So, here is a quick overview of the Better Rules process so far

It went from two groups working on it to having them formed into one while waiting weeks and months between communications from MBIE.  Getting published timeframes that were not followed and constantly changed, to getting an email about a meeting in the following week (at short notice), to raising questions at the meeting but watching MBIE representatives sit in silence as their response to numerous questions went unanswered, then being asked for feedback but with limited time to submit and then not knowing if the feedback provided has been accepted or thrown to the side.

Where are we now?

There was a statement made at an EMA briefing (16 March 2023) where they advised:

  • “The first draft of the Holidays Act will be available in April, with it being expected to go through a Select Committee and be passed into legislation by the upcoming election.”

This statement is totally wrong and misleading.

The EMA statement was raised with MBIE.  And after some pushing to get an answer, the following was received from MBIE on 28 March 2023:

  • “We are working towards introduction in mid-2023. However, there will not be time to pass the Bill before the end of the parliamentary term.  The Select Committee process will follow the introduction and first reading stages.”

So, we may see a Bill mid-year (don’t hold your breath), but there will not be a new Holidays Act this year.  Whether we actually get a new Act depends on who the government is after the election in October.  If the present government stays in, the Bill would need to go through a full Select Committee process (as the government stated it would), and there will be a lead in time for the new Act’s implementation.  Please understand that from what has been seen, this is a major change, and from talking to a couple of payroll providers, this could take well over 12 months.  So, we would be lucky to see a fully implemented new Act even in 2024.

I would like to say the wait for the new Holidays Act will be well worth it, but “Yeah, Nah” is my response!

NZPPA supporting NZ payroll since 2007!

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