Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tourism Industry Association wants to "Start a Group"

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)to the Review of the Holidays Act 2003

The terms of reference for the review included:
  • the calculation of relevant daily pay
  • trading annual leave for cash at the employee's request, and
  • transferring the observance of public holidays

Act can be made easier to work with and reduce compliance costs.

We would have thought that Employment legislation would have been an ongoing focus and work in progress well before submissions were called for. The TIA should have been able to present a clear business friendly call to action with the support of the majority of its members on this crucial piece of legislation.

Thankfully the TIA manged to form an opinion on some aspects of the review by supporting the trading in the fourth week's holiday for cash and not supporting addition of further public holidays. Unfortunately the TIA did not support the flexibility of transferring the observance of public holidays.

Overall this is a somewhat disappointing submission that lacks firepower.

Maybe the TIA have become somewhat stodgy after indulging in too many sausage rolls on the endless circuit of Rugby World Cup committee meetings?

1 September 2009
Holidays Act Must Be Simplified, Says Tourism Industry

The Holidays Act is complex and time-consuming and needs to be simplified to make it easier for tourism businesses to work with, says Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Tim Cossar.

In its submission to the Review of the Holidays Act 2003, TIA says the Act affects every single tourism business, and in 24/7 industries where many part-time and casual workers are employed, the rules and regulations governing holidays are critical.

"It is vital that Holidays Act legislation is clear in its interpretation, for example around the calculation of relevant daily pay, but at the same time flexible enough to take account of the vast number of individual employment agreements that exist because of the seasonal and part-time nature of jobs in the sector," says Mr Cossar.

TIA is recommending the Department of Labour convene a working group of tourism and hospitality representatives to discuss potential options for making the Act easier to work with and reducing compliance costs.

Mr Cossar notes that while the tourism industry is seeking more clarity from the Holidays Act review, the diverse nature of the industry means a "one size fits all" approach is not always going to be the right one.
"What works for a large tourism entity, all of whom have computer based payroll systems, won't necessarily work for the many small to medium sized enterprises that characterise this industry."

TIA's submission also supports trading in the fourth week's holiday for cash, provided it is a flexible negotiation and the employee's rights are protected by legislation.

"A lot of part-time and casual workers and those in lower paid full-time employment would prefer trading in the fourth week for cash. While it certainly is better for employees to take a break, there can also be genuine hardship where cash is preferred over a holiday," says Mr Cossar.

TIA is also calling for public holidays to be retained as they are currently listed in the Holidays Act. Mr Cossar says its members are evenly divided on this issue, however TIA is concerned that transferring public holidays could be cumbersome and create extra compliance issues for businesses.

"The tourism industry acknowledges the increasing diversity and multi-cultural nature of New Zealand society, however we believe with four weeks annual leave provided to all employees, there are ample opportunities for people to take leave if they wish to observe their own days of national, religious or cultural significance."
He says TIA hopes the review will recognise the significant and sometimes adverse outcomes the Holidays Act has for the tourism industry, a major employer in New Zealand, and one where businesses often need to run seven day a week operations.

A full copy of the TIA submission is available on the policy section of the TIA website: www.tianz.org.nz.

Source: Click HERE

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