Newsletter – March 2011

Key Changes to the Employment Relations and Holiday Acts effective from

1 April 2011


Summary of Key Changes

  • Change to the calculation of sick leave, bereavement leave, public and alternative holidays
  • Minimum wage rate increase – hourly rate $13.00 for adults
  • Retaining employment agreements
  • Sick leave –proof of sickness rules relaxed
  • Increase in Penalties under the Holidays Act
  • Transferring public holidays
  • Cashing up annual leave


Changes to the Calculation of Sick, Bereavement Leave, Public and Alternative Holidays

This change means that we must be provided with the number of days worked for every employee for every pay period.



Minimum Wage Changes from 1 April 2011

Minimum wage will increase by $0.25 to $13.00 for the adult minimum wage and by $0.20 to $10.40 for new entrant and training minimum wage. 


CAE (Casual Agricultural Employee) Tax Rate

From 1 October 2010 the rate for CAE workers became 19.54 cents in the dollar. 


Employment Agreements – Retaining Employee Employment Agreements

From 1 July 2011 employers will be required to retain a copy of the intended agreement as well as the signed employment agreement.


If you do not currently have employment agreements in place for all of your staff, we strongly recommend that you do so. Please give us a call and we can assist you.


Proof of Sickness or Injury

From 1 April 2011 employers can ask for proof before three days without reasonable cause but they need to inform the employee as early as possible that proof is required and agree to meet the employee’s reasonable expenses in obtaining that proof.

Increase in Penalties under the Act

The penalties under the Act double from 1 April 2011.

  • From $10,000 for a company or other corporate to a maximum of $20,000
  • From $5,000 for an employer who is an individual to a maximum of $10,000

If you are unsure about any employment situation, please contact us for more information.

Penalties can be imposed for failure to have employment agreements in place.


Transferring Public Holidays

The law will allow employers and employees to agree to transfer a public holiday to any 24 hour period.

This means that a public holiday may be agreed to be transferred:

  • By a few hours to match shift arrangements
  • To a completely different day (and not necessarily midnight to midnight)

The agreement reached must be in writing. Please ring us for advice to ensure the wording of your agreement is sound.

The day being transferred must be clearly identified and would otherwise be a working day for the employee. The day the public holiday is being transferred to must be a day the employee otherwise would have worked and not another public holiday.


Cashing up Annual Leave

An employee may request, and an employer may agree, to cash up one week of their statutory annual leave.

One week can be cashed-up for each period of 12 months continuous employment beginning on the first anniversary of the employee’s employment that falls after 1 April 2011.

The employee must make the request. An employer cannot request an employee to cash up annual leave. The employer is under no obligation to agree to a request. If the employer declines the request, they must advise the employee in writing.

If the employer agrees the payment is the greater of:-

  • Ordinary Pay or
  • Average weekly earnings for last 12 months




There are a large number of changes taking place from 1 April 2011. The team at Strategic Software are here to help with any enquires you may have.




Help us to help those in Christchurch affected by the earthquake


Fundraising Auction 7 April 2011 @ 7pm

Venue: Queens Park Golf Club


Please email, phone on 03 211 2589 or visit our website with any items or services you can donate. 







Jill Stewart          Debbie Tynan    Ron Barnett        Eric Richards       Lyn Barclay          Vicky Peters

03 211 2590         03 211 2594         03 211 2591         03 211 2593         03 211 2589         03 2112592

Phone 03 211 2589   Fax 03 218 3408

Level 2, 137 Spey Street, Invercargill

If you have any issues you need to discuss please give us a call. 


“I was concerned when changing from a payroll system that I knew so well to a new one. I needn’t have worried, the team at Strategic were able to recommend, install and train me on a new system that gave me improved reporting and helped with budgets. They made it easy and hassle free. I use Strategic Software for ongoing support as what could take me 5 hours takes them 5 minutes and I am confident with the result.”

Debbie Hodges, Office Manager
E. Hayes & Sons Limited

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