Holiday pay

Immigration

New Zealand Immigration update: December 2018. This update is for employers enforcing a mandatory close-down period over the Christmas break, and who hire migrant workers on temporary entry visas.

This update is for employers enforcing a mandatory close-down period over the Christmas break, and who hire migrant workers on temporary entry visas.

Issue

Immigration New Zealand typically requires employers to pay employees on work visas for a minimum of 30 hours work each week.

Employers may have employees on work visas who do not have sufficient annual leave to take paid holidays over this period. This is particularly the case for new-hires, who have not had time to accumulate the required annual leave.

We have been asked whether it is necessary to pay impacted employees on work visas for a full 30 hour week, despite not having the annual leave to cover this.

Our advice

You do not need to pay these employees for 30 hours weekly, if they do not have the required annual leave.

There are two options for impacted employers:

  1. Allow employees on work visas to take annual leave in advance of their entitlement. If you do so, you should consider a contractual provision allowing you to recover this in the event the employee's employment ends before their annual leave balance is back at zero; or
  2. Pay employees on work visas 8% of their gross earnings, from the date they started working for your business. This is in line with section 34 of the Holidays Act 2003.

Further information

Please contact one of our experts.

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Copyright © Cavell Leitch. All rights reserved. Redistribution is only permitted with express written permission. For enquiries please contact us. This article by its nature cannot be comprehensive and cannot be relied on by clients as advice. It is provided to assist clients to identify legal issues on which they should seek legal advice. Please consult the professional staff of Cavell Leitch for advice specific to your situation.