Newsletter – December 2011

Statutory Days Over Christmas/New Year


With Christmas almost upon us, listed below are the guidelines for working out wages over this period.

Monday to Friday workers

As Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Sunday, the holiday is transferred to the following Tuesday (27 December and 3 January).

Boxing Day and the day after New Year’s Day will be observed on the days they fall (Monday 26 December and Monday 2 January).  Also depending on when you observe Southland Anniversary day, you may have an additional statutory day in the New Year period.

Weekend workers

If your employees would normally work on the Sunday that Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on this year, the public holiday is observed on the day it falls (Sunday 25 December and Sunday 1 January). This means the employee is entitled to that day off on pay.

Casual and on-call workers – Link to Department of Labour is

There will be differences for these workers working out when the public holidays are observed.  A holidays online tool has been developed on the DOL website, which can be used to work out employee entitlements. You will need to work out your employee’s normal working days first, by using the DOL’s otherwise working day calculator.


Note: An employee cannot be entitled to more than four public holidays over the Christmas and New Year period, regardless of their work pattern.


We will be in contact before our Xmas closedown to get the wages over the Christmas period. We would appreciate receiving the wages information for over the Christmas/New year period as early as possible.


Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax – Changes effective 1 April 2012


 All employer superannuation cash contributions, including KiwiSaver, paid to defined benefit funds for employees will be liable for ESCT (employer superannuation contribution tax) from 1 April 2012.

The ESCT will need to be calculated:

  • at the employee’s marginal tax rate, or
  • you can treat your employer contribution as salary or wages (with the agreement of your employee).

IRD will update the online PAYE calculator to reflect the changes.

They are currently working with software developer companies to amend their payroll and related products to enable these changes. If you use a payroll package you’ll need to upgrade your software by 1 April 2012.


90 Day Trial Periods

From 1 April 2011 all employers have been able to employ new employees on a trial period of up to 90 calendar days.

As part of an employment agreement an employer and employee can enter into a written agreement that, for the specified and agreed number of days but no more than 90 calendar days, the employer can dismiss the employee without the employee being able to take a personal grievance for reasons of unjustified dismissal.

Any trial period that you agree to with a new employee must be agreed to in good faith as part of their written employment agreement.  The written employment agreement must be signed by both you and your employee prior to them starting in your employment.  A signed employment agreement may reduce the risks of legal challenge.

Notice must be given within the trial period, even if the actual dismissal doesn’t become effective until after the trial period ends.

An employer and employee may agree to a trial period only if the employee has not previously been employed by the employer.

If you do not have employment agreements for your staff, please get in touch and we can assist you with this.


Jill Stewart                   Debbie Tynan                   Ron Barnett                    Eric Richards                   Lyn Barclay

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

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.

For urgent assistance over the holidays please contact Jill on 0274 410260.


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Owen Webb, Manager
Carpet Court, Invercargill

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