Earlier this year we told you that the Government was progressing work on Fair Pay Agreements (“FPA’s”) and also on the Holidays Act 2003 review.
We also told you that we would update you when there were further developments. There has been progress…of sorts…so here is our update as promised.
Fair Pay Agreements
The FPA working group led by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger provided its report to the Government on 31 January 2019. This working group set out its recommendations on the design of an FPA framework.
Since then it is fair to say that if there has been progress within Government, it has not been particularly visible to the public. And while the Government has said its response to the working group’s report would follow this year, instead FPAs have now had another round of consultation.
On 17 October 2019, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment produced a discussion paper seeking further consultation from individuals and organisations on the “possible design of an FPA system”. MBIE collected further submissions in order to “gather a range of views on how the options might work in practice, how it could be improved and how the policy could impact different groups.” Submissions closed on 27 November 2019.
So, while we cannot report a great deal of progress in this space, it is difficult to see how anything further might happen prior to this side of the New Year.
Holidays Act 2003 Review
The long awaited review of the Holidays Act 2003 into the myriad number of problems that have arisen under the Act has also been delayed.
The taskforce issued an interim report in December 2018. That interim report advised that the taskforce received almost 90 submissions on issues with the Act, considered a number of options for change, identified two main alternative options for determining and paying leave entitlements and said it intended to test these options with an independent payroll advisor.
At that stage, it was expect that the final report would be received around July 2019. That date came and went, as did an extension to the end of September 2019. To our knowledge, the taskforce has not produced its final report and it is now long overdue.
It had earlier been said that a new regime for calculating holiday pay would likely be two to three years away from a final report in any case.
So, we continue to be stuck with what we have got in the meantime.
We hope to be providing you more concrete updates in the New Year on these two very important possible changes to law, as we have no doubt that they will have important consequences for employment law.