FAQs - Holidays Act Remediation


What is the story in a nutshell?

PSO owes money to some current and former staff, dating back to 2013 and will be making repayments to those staff. Many other companies and government departments are doing the same – as the laws about Holiday Pay have been very hard to apply.


What are the payroll issues? 

Compliance issues with the Holidays Act are common in New Zealand across the public and private sectors because many payroll systems are not aligned with the Act. Like many other organisations, PSO’s payroll system has not always calculated a person’s holiday pay correctly.

That means some people’s holiday pay payments have been calculated incorrectly. We are fixing this by re-calculating the entitlements and making remediation payments to anyone who has been incorrectly paid. 


How far back will remediation payments go? 

We are required to go back six years from the date of a claim or six years from the date PSO became aware of the Holidays Act issues. In 2019, PSO became aware that our payroll system was not 100% compliant with the Holidays Act. Therefore, recalculations are being done starting from 1 July 2013.


What sorts of payments have been affected by the issues?

The issues relate to entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003, and how a range of allowances and entitlements have been interpreted and calculated. The specific areas that require remediation date back to 2013 and include the payment of statutory holidays, and the rate of payment for annual, sick and bereavement leave. 


Who is impacted?  

Current and former employees who worked with us at any time between 1st July 2013 and now.

Not every employee has been affected.

For those who are affected - we are contacting current employees now; and will be contacting former employees in the coming weeks.


How much will my repayment be?

Earnings history and leave patterns are unique, so each person’s case has been assessed individually and each payment amount will be different. 

PSO will be writing to each current and former employee to advise of them if they are affected by the remediation process. If you believe you are eligible please email remediation@psotago.org.nz


Why is my remediation payment different to others?   

Individual circumstances can result in different amounts owing for similar staff members because of differences in allowances, lump sum payments, reimbursements, grants, hours of work, when and how much leave has been taken, final pays, and the value of any Holidays Act adjustment payments already made. 


When will I receive my payment?

We expect to make payments to current employees from late October 2021. For former employees, payments will be made once we’ve sourced and validated the required details. 


What if I have been overpaid?

PSO acknowledges that all payments were made in good faith. We accept responsibility for any overpayments and will not be seeking to recover those overpayments from staff. 

We won’t be offsetting any overpayments again underpayment either. So, if we have underpaid you for any periods of leave, you will be paid that amount in full, even if you were also overpaid for other periods of leave.


How do I make a claim? 

Please read through all the information on this webpage plus the emails you receive from PSO about the remediation process.

If you do still have any questions, please email remediation@psotago.org.nz

Current staff members 

If you are a current employee with PSO, you don’t need to contact us or provide any documents. We have all the details of current staff who are owed pay and we will contact you individually.

Former staff members 

PSO will send an email and a letter to former employees to let them know about the remediation process. Former employees can also email PSO on remediation@psotago.org.nz to find out if they are owed any pay. 

Tax, KiwiSaver and other benefit implications 

Once we confirm you’re affected, we’ll ask you to provide relevant superannuation contribution and tax details. 

You should then also contact any relevant organisation (such as Inland Revenue) for advice about whether your remediation payment affects any agreement you have with them about your current earnings, benefits, child support or any other matters. 

The Inland Revenue website has useful information on the tax treatment of lump sum payments.

You can also contact the IRD directly on 0800 227 774. 


How are the re-calculations being worked out?

In October 2020, PSO commissioned a specialist firm, MERO to do the re-calculations. MERO reported to PSO that there had been significant under and over payments of all leave types including Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Public Holidays, Bereavement Leave. 


Does my Union or employee group know?

PSO’s CEO and members of the Senior Leadership team have met with key union and SERM representatives who have indicated their clear support for this process.

All information on this issue has been shared with your union or employee group.

Union and SERM representatives have also indicated they are available to assist and advise their members at any stage.


What happens next?

At this stage PSO is planning to make payments to staff who are owed remediation pay from late October 2021.

All staff who receive a payment will also receive a personal email and/or letter showing a breakdown of their payment.

More information about the payment dates will be provided soon.


I have more questions!

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please email remediation@psotago.org.nz and one of the payroll team will get back to you as soon as they can.

Please be patient, as there may be a lot of email inquiries initially.

As well, this FAQ page will be updated as we move through the process – with more information being added to answer common questions that come up, so please re-visit this page from time to time.