Holidays Act Remediation

Like many public and private organisations across New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora has been impacted by Holidays Act 2003 compliance issues.

If you worked for Te Whatu Ora, one of the former District Health Boards, or Health Alliance, Health Partnerships, Health Source or Northern Region Alliance at any time since 1 May 2010, you may have been paid incorrectly for your leave. We’re committed to addressing these issues, to ensure current and former Te Whatu Ora staff receive their correct leave entitlements.

For current employees, you can read more on your local intranet.

For former employees, please register with us through our secure national portal, so we can keep you informed about any upcoming payments that may relate to you. The portal provides a single point of contact and source of information for all former employees nationwide.

Please note we will never ask you to provide personal or banking details by phone or email – you will be asked to use the secure portal.

We will also reach out directly to former employees using your last known contact details.

If you are currently overseas and find that you are unable to register on the portal from that location, here are some options:

  • try again when you travel to a different country
  • assign power of attorney for someone in New Zealand to act on your behalf.

Payments to former employees are expected to start in 2024. We are legally obliged to pay any amounts owed, no matter how small.

Holidays Act Remediation: How we are managing payroll data as part of the project.

As part of the remediation process, we are currently working with our payroll provider and Holidays Act remediation partner to better understand the payroll data and begin our process of finalising calculations for all employees.

With over 3000 current and former South Canterbury employees who were employed between 1 May 2010 and 30 June 2023, this is no small task, but we are making significant progress and we have great data to work with.

To help you learn more about the project, the project team wanted to make you aware of the way we have extracted and cleansed data with the help of our payroll provider and Holidays Act remediation partner.

Ensuring we have secure information exchange for calculations

South Canterbury District payroll data is held within our payroll provider’s Cloud environment. This is a secure environment, designed from the ground up to align with the New Zealand Information Security Manual; the New Zealand Government’s manual on information assurance and information systems security. It is regularly tested, with robust operational procedures and regular staff training ensuring security is maintained.

The process for our payroll provider to provide data from this system to the South Canterbury District’s remediation partner has been as follows:

  1. The required payroll data is securely extracted from a database as an ‘extract’, to a secured server within the payroll providers’ network.
  2. The ‘extract’ is zipped with a secure password.
  3. The ‘extract’ is then downloaded within the SCD network to secure storage and the password provided via encrypted text message.
  4. SCD then uploads this ‘extract’ to the remediation partner’s secure site, via a secure transfer protocol, within the SCD network from the secure storage.
  5. Once completed, both the ‘extract’ held on the payroll providers server and the SCD network secure storage is immediately deleted.

All files uploaded to our remediation partner’s secure environment are loaded using encryption, with all information encrypted when it is sent between parties. Documents are encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standards and this applies to all devices used as part of this process.

In addition, our remediation partner also has safeguards in place to maintain the security and privacy of information provided to them. This includes encryption (previously referenced), anti-virus and malware, access management, and strict authentication procedures.

Both our payroll provider and remediation partner have invested in all required security applications to achieve the required levels of compliance to satisfy the project’s quality

assurance framework, with these protocols and compliance levels having been discussed with union members at the project’s Working Group meetings.

Looking for gaps in the data

From detailed analysis and reporting, it is the opinion of the District that South Canterbury has a sufficiently complete and reliable set of data to undertake remediation activities. The data provided to the remediation partner sufficiently identifies all employees during the relevant period, categorises them appropriately and allows for testing to be performed to assess the extent of underpayments.

The framework document we are following specifies five “data cleansing and testing” requirements related to data, with 30 related testing requirements. We have followed all the testing procedures to satisfy the requirements, and completed reporting on the procedures performed, the testing undertaken, and where a testing procedure might have failed, we have detailed the method to fix the identified issue.

What has greatly helped are a couple of points that are very good for data completeness and accuracy of the calculations we’ll be undertaking:

  1. Changes to the system configuration and employment profiles are recorded (across all areas), meaning recalculation back through time can be done accurately and changes in configuration can be seen which will help explain/validate any underpayments.
  2. All payments made are tied to a particular day, meaning calculations defined at a daily level can be accurately performed without assumptions.

By following a detailed process when extracting and cleansing payroll data, the work to rectify our payroll system has become a lot clearer, along with helping us outline the necessary steps required to ensure that calculations for all employees are accurate, detailed, and aligned to the national process.

For more information on this process, contact your union member or email.

Ngā mihi/Yours sincerely,

Holidays Act Remediation Project Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury