Christmas Holidays

Public Holiday entitlements – 2015/2016 Christmas and New Year period
 
An employee is entitled to be paid for a public holiday without working it only if that day would otherwise be a working day for the employee.

The Holidays Act 2003 provides in certain circumstances for the transfer of Christmas and New Year’s public holidays.  

Where one of these public holidays falls on a Saturday and the day would otherwise be a working day for an employee, the public holiday will be observed on the Saturday for that employee.  

Where Saturday would not otherwise be working days for an employee, the public holidays will be observed on the following Monday.

The Holidays Act 2003 clearly states that this arrangement means that employees are entitled to no more than 4 public holidays during the Christmas and New Year period

Here are some examples to assist you to understand holiday entitlements through this period.

 

Normally works Monday to Friday

Normally works Saturday

Friday 25 December

Holiday observed

paid day off

 

Saturday 26 December

Holiday transferred

Holiday observed

paid day off

Monday 28 December

Holiday observed

paid day off

No entitlement to a paid day away from work

Friday 1 January

Holiday observed

paid day off

 

Saturday 2 January

Holiday transferred

Holiday observed

paid day off

Monday 4 January

Holiday observed

paid day off

No entitlement to a paid day away from work

                          

Should an employee work on the public holiday instead of having a paid day off work as in the above example, the employee is entitled to payment of time and a half for the hours worked on the public holiday and also entitled to another full day off as an alternative holiday.

An employee is not entitled to an alternative holiday if he or she is not normally employed on the day the public holiday falls, or works only on public holidays.

Anyone who works on a public holiday, no matter what their normal working days are, must be paid time and a half for the hours they work. The calculation is usually based on Relevant daily pay which, by definition, is the amount the employee would otherwise have earned on the day if they had worked, and includes:
productivity or incentive payments, including commission or piece rates, (if those payments would have been received had the employee worked), overtime payments and the cash value of any board/lodgings provided. It excludes payment of any employer contribution to a superannuation scheme for the benefit of the employee.

 ‘Average daily pay’ may be used where it is not possible or practicable to determine relevant daily pay, or if the employee’s daily pay varies within the pay period when the holiday or leave falls. Average daily pay is a daily average of the employee’s gross earnings over the past 52 weeks. That is, the employee’s gross earnings divided by the number of whole or part days the employee either worked or was on paid leave or holiday during that period.

Employers should attempt to calculate an employee’s relevant daily pay in the first instance. 

Further information:http://employment.govt.nz/er/holidaysandleave/publicholidays/payment-work.asp 

Company closedowns and Public holidays
Where the public holiday falls during a closedown period, the guidelines above in relation to the employee entitlement should be applied.

Annual Holidays
If a public holiday falls within an employee’s period of annual leave, the day should be treated as a public holiday and not an annual leave day.
 
For HR guidance on policies and procedures – Paddy, Battersby HR Consulting, tel: 09 838 1455; www.battersbyhr.com  
 

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