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Public Holidays

Published 01 Feb 2010

Incoming calls to Employers Assistance Ltd highlight the confusion over Public Holidays and who is entitled to what.

2010 has Waitangi day and ANZAC day fall on weekends – (Saturday & Sunday). There are several issues to be considered when calculating Public Holiday entitlements

Given that Easter always involves a Friday and a Monday and these (Good Friday and Easter Monday) are Public Holidays - this year they involve Friday 2nd April and Monday 5th April there needs to be consideration when calculating the public holiday pay. The Saturday and Sunday over Easter are not Public Holidays.

We mention Waitangi Day so clients can tell if they calculated it correctly because it was a Saturday and the others are coming up shortly.
We recommend employers first decide whether or not the employee would normally work on the Public Holiday in question. They either 'normally' do or they don't. If, for example an employee who works every fourth Saturday and was then rostered on to work on a Public Holiday being a Saturday, then he is deemed to 'normally' work on a Saturday.
  • Only employees who work on any of these Public Holidays are entitled to be paid time and a half for the hours worked and they might also qualify for an alternative day paid at normal rates (not penalty rates) regardless of the number of hours worked on the Public Holiday itself. If they work one hour on a Public Holiday they are entitled to time and a half for the hour and an alternative holiday paid at normal rates assuming the Public Holiday is a day they would normally work.
  • The alternative holiday does not apply if the Public Holiday is a day of the week the employee would not normally work. Those employees who do not 'normally' work on that day of the week but do work the Public Holiday are entitled to time & a half but get no alternative holiday.
  • Employees who normally work on weekends (Saturdays or Sundays) but do not work on these when they are Public Holidays are entitled to be paid for the days at normal rates but do not qualify for an alternative holiday.
  • Employees who do not normally work on a Saturday and Sunday and do not work them when they are Public Holidays will have these Public Holidays off unpaid and no alternative holiday entitlement.
  • Last Christmas and next Christmas involve Saturdays and Sundays and have been (and will be) observed on the following Monday and (next Christmas) Tuesday as well.
Later this year there's Queen's Birthday (Monday June 7th) and Labour Weekend (Monday 25th November)

Next year Waitangi Day will fall on a Sunday.