If you were employed by AgResearch between 23 May 2012 to the 16 February 2021, you may be entitled to a remediation payment for incorrectly calculated holiday pay and leave.
Holiday Act Remediation
AgResearch has proactively investigated whether we underpaid employees under the Holidays Act 2003.
What you need to do
If you believe you are owed any monies as part of this remediation, please email us.
You’ll need the following information before starting the process;
- Your IRD number
- Tax code declaration form IR330(external link) (for advice on which tax code is relevant to you see the second page of this form)
- Kiwisaver deduction form KS2(external link) (if you are currently a Kiwisaver member)
- Your bank account details (specify if this is an overseas bank account)
- Reference number from the communication provided
- Marriage/birth/dissolution of marriage certificate if your name has changed during the period stated
- Current driver licence or passport (a passport is required for anyone currently residing overseas)
- You will need to elect a tax percentage for the lump sum payment
Why is AgResearch undertaking remediation for the Holidays Act?
- 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.
- AgResearch has initiated this review voluntarily to ensure we are compliant with the Holidays Act.
- As a result of our investigation, we’ve identified under-payments and under-entitlements for some of our AgResearch employees and former employees.
What are the key findings?
The calculation used to calculate the holiday pay was not compliant with the Holidays Act 2013. Our previous payroll system used the incorrect calculation of Average Standard Hourly Rate when Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) should have been used. This has affected various leave types across permanent and casual employees, mainly where working hours have increased or decreased and affected the average hourly rate. This has resulted in either an under- or over-payment. (Note: AgResearch is not seeking to recover over-payments.)
Some of our casual employees may have been impacted when their regular working schedule landed on a public holiday. They should have been paid the holiday rate. Historically, this required a manual calculation process by Payroll and is unlikely to be an issue. However, AgResearch has decided not to investigate this further and instead remediate the maximum projected liability for this group of employees.
Higher Duties Allowance has affected the Average Standard Hourly Rate where leave has been taken, and a higher hourly rate has been incorrectly paid on top of the higher duties allowance resulting in an advantage or over-payment.
Over allocation of Annual Leave accruals where a work schedule was adjusted or changed and the Annual Leave accruals were not adjusted resulting in an inflation of annual leave balances. Not all former employees are impacted by this remediation. Most former employees had their leave and entitlements correctly calculated throughout their time at AgResearch.
Who may be affected by this remediation issue?
This issue affects some individuals employed by AgResearch between 23 May 2012 to the 16 February 2021 as per the government guidelines.
It primarily affects former employees who worked variable and unpredictable work patterns or above their contracted hours.
What period does the remediation cover?
The remediation covers the period between 23 May 2012 to the 16 February 2021.
How do I know if I’m entitled to a back payment or annual leave adjustment?
If you are a former employee and you are entitled to a back payment, we will have already attempted to contact you by various means such as text, email, phone and been unsuccessful. However, if you believe you are entitled to a back payment, please email
Why haven’t I received an email advising what I am owed?
You need to complete the identity validation process to ensure we are protecting your privacy before we can release this information to you.
If you have completed the identity validation process and believe you are entitled to a back payment, but have not received an email confirming this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How much will my back payment be?
The amount of your back payment will vary based on your working patterns and leave patterns while at AgResearch. Each payment will be individually calculated.
How are the backpays calculated?
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 email@example.com
For more information on the Holidays Act 2003, please refer to the New Zealand Legislation website (external link)
How will the back payment be taxed?
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 IRD - Calculating PAYE for a lump sum payment (external link)
Will the back payment include my student loan deductions and relevant taxes?
PAYE, as well as other deductions such as student loan repayment and KiwiSaver contributions, will automatically be deducted at the time of payment. These deductions will be based on the information provided to us on the form you are required to complete.
Will I have KiwiSaver deducted from this payment?
Yes, as it forms part of your gross earnings and is subject to the normal KiwiSaver rules. All associated employer contributions will be matched appropriately.
You will need to specify if you were an existing member of Kiwisaver during your employment. If so, Kiwisaver contributions will be deducted.
If your Kiwisaver status has changed or you are on a Kiwisaver contribution holiday, savings suspension or any other exemption, then you will need to provide the copy of the letter from Inland Revenue confirming your current status.
Has Child Support been deducted from my back pay amount? (if applicable)
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(external link) or you can call the IRD on 0800 227 773.
Will my back payment 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 IRD(external link) or call the IRD on 0800 227 773 if you need further information.
Who can I contact if I need more information?
Please email. A member of our team will respond to you within five working days.