The Holidays Act 2003 – update from the Government on targeted consultation


On 5 June 2024, the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety has confirmed the Government will be launching targeted consultation with respect to a draft Bill focused on updating, and “improving” the Holidays Act 2003 (“the Act”).

The Minister has focused on seeking to make workable changes to the Act that keep up with evolving work arrangements and business needs.  Practically, we can see that being a challenge – but a worthy one given the difficulties experienced across industries and employers of all sizes with complying with the current Act. 

As part of the consultation the Minister intends to seek feedback from businesses and other stakeholders.  To achieve that, the Minister has announced that an exposure draft of the Bill intended to implement changes will be published for targeted consultation in September 2024.  That process is intended to allow feedback on technical and policy details from stakeholders, with the Minister making comments regarding the need to hear from small businesses in particular.        

Along with other changes, we understand the exposure draft Bill will likely cover, for example:

  1. The potential of pro-rating sick leave so that there is some proportionality to the employee’s days/hours of work;
  2. Moving from a weeks-based entitlement system to a weeks-based accrual system for annual holidays;
  3. Simplification of leave calculations;
  4. Objective criteria for using pay-as-you-go for annual holidays.

In terms of next steps, MBIE is inviting stakeholders to participate in the targeted consultation process.  If you or your organisation would like to register to participate and have your say, registration needs to occur by 8 July 2024.


For more information


If you or your organisation need advice about the current Act and/or this latest update, please do not hesitate to reach out.  For more information, please contact 04 472 0020 or one of our employment law experts.

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