That is the bill faced by New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, the owners of Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, for years of underpayments, according to this week’s NZ Herald.
The back pay claim arose out of the employer’s practice of paying staff for eight hours’ work on lieu days, when in fact they usually worked twelve hour shifts.
This case again highlights provisions in the Holidays Act requiring employers to pay the greater of relevant daily pay or average daily pay – which many payroll systems do not automatically take into account.
Before you panic about the size of the potential bill, the $20 million is to be shared between 450 current and former employees and goes back 25 years.
However, it is a timely reminder to check your payroll system to make sure you are not inadvertently underpaying staff for holidays.
To find out more contact our Employment Law team.