The short answer is yes.
It is interesting to see the wide range of variations in terms of what payroll providers are doing with domestic violence leave (DVL) in their payroll systems from the 1st April 2019. These include the following:
- stating they will not be adding or providing any support for DVL in their payroll systems
- providing DVL as a new module but you have to pay for it!
- adding it into their payroll systems ready to go for the 1st April 2019.
The wide differences being seen in what payroll providers are or are not doing for DVL can be clearly linked to the total lack of leadership and direction from MBIE. There are plans for MBIE to only provide information on DVL from the 1st April 2019 and that does not mean it will be to the level needed by a payroll developer.
In this post I want to state the reasons why payroll providers need to add this into their payroll software, why payroll should have full visibility of DVL and I also cover one issue with DVL and privacy in payroll.
Why should DVL be included in the payroll system?
On the 1st April 2019 DVL will be included in the Holidays Act 2003 as a new minimum leave entitlement, adding to the five already provided under the Act: annual, sick, bereavement, alternative and public holidays.
As DVL will become another minimum leave entitlement, payroll needs this new leave type to be included in payroll for the following reasons:
- Once the employee becomes eligible for this leave entitlement it will need to be managed just like any other leave entitlement under the Holidays Act.
- It will provide an entitlement of days that could be used all at once or over a period of time as a reducing leave balance.
- DVL has been added to a range of sections already existing under the Holidays Act so rules must be followed.
- It is calculated using relevant daily pay (RDP) or if the day cannot be defined then average daily pay (ADP).
- If any DVL leave is taken then the dates and value of the pay become part of the holiday and leave record and must be held for a period of six years.
Not having this new leave type in payroll is stupid. It puts the employer at risk of not following the rules and requirements that need to be undertaken to be compliant with the Act.
But what about breaching the privacy of the employee?
I have heard this a number of times as a reason it should not be in payroll. What a load of rubbish! All of payroll is confidential, all of payroll should be locked down so only authorised personnel have access. Payroll does not need to know the reasons for DVL being provided as that is nothing to do with applying, paying and recording the DVL being taken. In a nutshell, payroll does have a lawful purpose to know about DVL in the work we do in payroll (Principle 1 of the Privacy Act 1993).
What do we call it in payroll?
From the payroll perspective, DVL should be called what it is as we need to know what we are managing, processing and recording. However, what is sent out from payroll to the business is a different matter and that will be up to the business and not payroll to decide. This is in regard to reports, payslips, self-service portals and so on, which will need to be assessed on the potential risk of a privacy breach if an unauthorised person were able to see information about an employee’s application or use of DVL.
So in conclusion, firstly those payroll providers not adding DVL into their system or providers profiteering by charging for DVL as an add-on should wake up and support their clients in providing a complete (and hopefully compliant) payroll solution at no additional cost.
Secondly, payroll should not be kept in the dark on DVL. We need to be fully involved in applying DVL as this is a minimum leave entitlement and the employer and ultimately payroll is accountable for getting it right.
Thirdly, call DVL what it is in payroll or it will create another layer of confusion with the Holidays Act that we just do not need. How it is seen outside of payroll is up to the business.
Lastly, we should always consider what DVL is about in regard to supporting an employee. Let’s not make it harder than it needs to be.
NZPPA supporting NZ payroll since 2007!