FENZ appeals ERA Holidays Act decision

FENZ is challenging the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) determination that NZPFU members working overtime on a public holiday must be paid 1.5 times the overtime rate. 

The NZPFU filed a dispute last year claiming that the correct method of calculation was to determine the relevant daily pay was the overtime rate as the employee was to be paid that rate for those hours and then to apply the public holiday payment of 1.5 that would result in a total of T2.25 being paid for the hours worked on a public holiday. Currently members working overtime on a public holiday are receiving the same pay they would have received if the overtime was worked on a day that is not public holiday.

The Employment Relations Authority agreed with the NZPFU determining that the overtime rate was the relevant daily pay for the public holiday rate to be calculated. The Authority determined that the Holidays Act applied and that the proper approach was the methodology of determining the relevant daily pay (which is the amount of pay the employee would have actually received if s/he had worked that day) which is the overtime rate and then apply the Public Holiday rate to that rate.  The Authority stated that that approach was the correct approach despite what was agreed in 2013.

Today FENZ filed an Application in the Employment Court challenging the Employment Relations Authority decision. FENZ is seeking a determination that the entitlement to payment for overtime worked on a public holiday is rate 1.5 not 2.5.

FENZ rely on the events when the current pay structure was developed in 2013 with a transition to overtime rates of 1.5 and a Record of Agreement that records the 1.5 rate would be the rate regardless of when the overtime was worked. Essentially FENZ was claiming that the overtime rate of 1.5 already included the public holiday rate when overtime was worked on a public holiday.

The ERA Determination can be accessed via https://www.nzpfu.org.nz/news/nzpfu-wins-public-holiday-payment-dispute/

The NZPFU will keep members informed.

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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