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Holidays Act payments to former Plant & Food Research employees

Holidays Act payments to former Plant & Food Research employees

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Holidays Act payments to former Plant & Food Research employees


The Holidays Act 2003 is complex legislation with varying calculations and entitlements for different leave types. As a result, many New Zealand employers found it challenging to apply the legislation correctly when calculating entitlement to and payment for holiday pay and other forms of leave.

As part of a review of the Holidays Act remediation at Plant & Food Research, we have found that there have been unintentional errors in the calculation and payment of certain employee leave entitlements.

If you were employed by Plant & Food Research between August 2013 and April 2021, you may have been impacted and may be owed some money. Former waged employees who worked varying hours or were paid varying amounts are most likely to be affected. Some salaried staff could also be affected with impacts with the way leave may have been calculated at the time.

The Holidays Act

The Holidays Act 2003 sets out the minimum entitlements to holidays and leave, and payment for leave that all New Zealand employers are required to provide to their employees.

The Act outlines how permanent and casual employees become entitled to:

  • Annual holidays

  • Bereavement Leave

  • Alternative Leave

  • Public Holidays

  • Sick Leave.

It also explains the calculations that are used to pay these different leave types, and how they change depending on a number of factors.

Plant & Food Research and the Holidays Act review actions to date

In 2018, the government announced a review of the Holidays Act to bring it up to date with modern workforce practices and set up a Taskforce to review the act. In 2020/21, we held a review to check our compliance with the Holidays Act.

We discovered that we had incorrectly applied Holidays Act legislation in certain situations. We set up a remediation programme to help us meet our obligations to both current and former employees.

That project has recently completed its first phase and we have made payments to current staff members via the Plant & Food Research payroll process.

How do I know if I am eligible for any payment?

We now invite any ex-staff members, who have worked for Plant & Food Research between August 2013 and April 2021 to apply to find out if you are due for a remediation payment.

Please note – we are obliged to pay any monies owing, and this may be under $1, or you may get a more substantial amount. This is calculated on a case-by-case basis.

We will be attempting to contact those eligible via email if we have this on file.

How to claim your remediation payment

If you think you might be eligible for a claim, please email with your Full name, Maiden Name (if applicable), Date of Birth and IRD Number (000-000-000) so we are able to proceed.

We will be in touch with you for more information that may include, but not limited to:

  • Personal banking details (or approval from another person to pay into their bank account)

  • Tax details

  • Kiwisaver details

  • Proof of identity (and any supporting change of name if this is different from when you were employed by us)

We will need extra documentation from you to verify your claim for some circumstances, such as:

  • A will where probate has been granted

  • Other legal proof of claim (e.g., enduring power of attorney documents).

What happens after I contact you?

Our team will review the information you provide and be in contact by email with further information. Once we have all the required information, and confirm you are entitled to a remediation payment, we will be able to make the payment.

If you know of someone else who you believe may be eligible please direct them to this website.

Privacy Notice

Plant & Food Research is committed to obligations to take care of all personal information we collect. We will use the information you supply for verification in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020, and the Holidays Act 2003.

Privacy Policy

We respect the sensitivity of the information you supply and confirm that our PRIVACY POLICY

applies to the collection, use, storage and disclosure of the information submitted above.

In particular:

1. The information will only be used for the purposes it is supplied, namely remediation of Holidays Act pay

2. Only authorised persons will have access to the information for the purposes for which it is supplied

3. We will protect the information with necessary safeguards in place against loss, unauthorised disclosure and misuse; and

4. The information will not be kept for longer than necessary.

Useful FAQs

How have the calculations been made?

We've used EY’s expertise to review all leave records, payments, and earning data for any period worked between August 2013 and April 2021 and recalculate any leave payments.

The calculations have been thoroughly reviewed with external and internal payroll experts to confirm the methodology and results are accurate.

You won't receive interest on your payments as this is a genuine error and we are confident that many of the decisions we've made exceed the requirements of the Holidays Act.

Can I donate the payment to Charity?

You are welcome to donate your payment to Charity – you will need to arrange this yourself.

Will I receive a pay slip showing my payment details?

You can request a pay slip showing your payment, tax and KiwiSaver on request. Please email

How are remediation payments calculated, and will I be provided with this information?

Each payment is calculated individually and the calculations required to determine the amount you’re owed are long and complex. While we’re not providing the detailed calculations as a matter of course, we can provide them to you upon request. For further information, please email

When will I received payment?

Once we have validated and verified your claim, we aim to pay you before the end of 2023.

How do I claim on behalf of someone else, e.g., a deceased person, or someone for whom I hold power of attorney?

If you are making an application on behalf of someone else please email and we will be in touch with you for more information that may include:

  • Proof of your identity

  • Authorisation you are acting on behalf of the person or estate

  • A completed IR330 Tax Declaration form, adding the deceased details to the form.  Do not sign the IR330 on their behalf– leave this part blank.

If I apply and I have been overpaid what will happen?

We will not be looking to recover any overpayments as these were made in good faith at the time.

Information for Kiwisaver members

If you're a KiwiSaver member and would like to make contributions from any claim, complete the Kiwisaver Deduction form (PDF 80.9KB) during the claims process. We'll pay Employer Contributions of three per cent.

How much is the tax?

Any amount owing will be paid as a lump sum payment and taxed at the rate required by Inland Revenue Department.

This payment is an extra pay (lump sum) for tax purposes and therefore will be taxed at your elected tax rate for the tax year that the payment will be paid. The lump sum tax percent is elected by you based on your estimated gross earnings for the that tax year. For more information, please refer to Calculate PAYE for a lump sum payment (

Student loan payments

These will be made as required by law. You'll be asked to complete a tax code declaration form (IR330). To calculate your tax, check the IRD website for a handy calculator.

Will Child Support be deducted?

Child support has not been deducted from your back payment. You may need to advise IRD that your family income has changed. You can do this at any time online through myIR or you can call the IRD on 0800 227 773.

Will any backpay affect my Working for Families entitlement or Disability Allowance?

Your back payment may affect your Working for Families entitlement, disability allowance or ACC payments in the tax year payment is made. Please refer to the Inland Revenue - Te Tari Taake ( or call the IRD on 0800 227 773 if you need further information.

Information for non-New Zealand residents

Non-New Zealand residents can register. We will require proof of your bank account in your country of residence.

This needs to show:

  • your account number

  • your SWIFT/BAN number

Your bank must be able to accept payments from New Zealand. Any payment made to you will be subject to the exchange rate at the time the money is processed. You may incur a fee from your bank.

International payments are subject to any fluctuation in exchange rates. Your bank may also charge you to receive an international payment from New Zealand.

What happens to any unclaimed monies?

Any unclaimed monies will be held for 7 years and then transferred to IRD. From that point, any queries relating to remediation payments must be directed to IRD.

Further information

If you have a question which is not covered here, email