NZ Holidays Act compliance: 6 ways to streamline employee data

Streamline Holidays Act compliance in the cloud

NZ payroll outsourcing firms and professionals struggle with the Holidays Act when managing employee leave and holiday pay entitlements. Unless staff are working regular 9-5, static salaried jobs; whoever runs the payroll will find challenges along the way.

Industries such as retail, manufacturing and hospitality commonly have staff on variable hours, and often deal with different employment types like part-time or casual, alongside full-time and permanent staff. Varying employee setups make interpreting the requirements of the Act much more difficult with regards to defining a workweek or work day and applying the right rates and calculations. 

The other key problem that stems from this is finding software that’s flexible enough to manage these unique employment agreements, and get the calculations right without any workarounds from the payroll practitioner.

Embracing technology to ensure compliance

Desktop payroll systems are popular among payroll practitioners in New Zealand, yet these legacy systems are rigid with reduced accessibility. Issues can arise with record keeping and meeting Holidays Act compliance unless innovative, cloud technology is used. Whether businesses manage the payroll in-house, or outsource to a payroll bureau, the most efficient technology should be in place to streamline processes and improve data accuracy.

Streamline employee data in the cloud

Record keeping is more difficult in desktop systems as data often has to be inputted manually, meaning repetitive and time-consuming work for the payroll practitioner. Investing in a consolidated cloud payroll and workforce management system that allows easy flow of employee data will help streamline these requirements and remove manual frustration and errors. Data will also be securely stored in the cloud and accessible from any device - no need to search through a hard drive from a fixed computer! If the payroll is being outsourced to a bureau, cloud technology provides their clients access to and visibility of payroll data and records.

Remove paper processes

Using paper for employee processes such as timesheets and leave requests make record keeping extremely inefficient. By embracing more efficient tools such as time and attendance systems, clock in systems or online timesheets, paper can be completely eliminated, removing the chance of data loss, and improving accuracy.

Work from real time data

Another benefit of embracing technology for employee record keeping is improving the accuracy of the data. Paper processes or even email requests are rigid. If an employee were to apply for leave using a paper form, the form may take a few days to be submitted, processed, and applied into payroll. If the employee has changed their mind since then and wanted to update their request, it may not be viable until the next pay period - or even worse, their request may be missed. Using employee self service technology like an employee portal or mobile app, employees can be empowered to manage and update their own requests. These requests can then alert the payroll practitioner before each pay run, so data can be easily updated, approved and applied - for accurate payroll every time.

Accurately calculate leave entitlements

To ensure compliance, payroll professionals need a full record of employee hours and days worked. Combining online timesheets and payroll in a single, consolidated system helps payroll managers to confidently calculate leave entitlements for all employee scenarios, including for those tricky variable hour workers.

Flexible and bespoke technology

Payroll systems that are disjointed from employee data may not be able to detect the right pay rates or entitlements that apply in different scenarios. It’s important for payroll technology to be flexible enough to:

  1. Configure unique employee setups such as contracted hours, standard workday hours for specific days, overtime rates, entitlements and deductions like Kiwisaver or student loans
  2. Detect and apply public holiday rates 
  3. Understand when overtime rates should be applied

Make life easier for everyone involved

Not only will an all-in-one system promote accurate data and leave calculations, but it can also save a lot of time for both the allocated payroll manager, and the employee. Employee self service ensures employees are on top of their personal information, leave balances and upcoming leave requests. Meanwhile, the payroll practitioner can spend less time chasing employee data and answering payroll questions, and more time on what’s important - paying staff accurately. Payroll bureaus using ESS for their clients’ staff can also invest more time into growing their client base and adding value in other ways, such as advisory.

Streamline NZ payroll in a consolidated system

KeyPay New Zealand makes payroll and employee management easy in an all-in-one cloud system. With timesheets and rostering integrated straight into payroll, employee data is always up to date when managing leave calculations and entitlements. Embrace the right technology to ensure Holidays Act compliance, while saving time and money.

Want more insights? Download our white paper: Navigating the Holidays Act and ensuring payroll compliance.


Kate Brown

Marketing Manager at KeyPay

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