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Public Holiday Payments Calculation Method

Published 01 Feb 2011

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

There are several issues to be considered when calculating Public Holiday entitlements.

We recommend employers first decide whether or not the employee would normally work on the calendar day in question (is this an otherwise working day?). This is easy for most employees, but where an employee works on rolling rosters, or flexibly, this can be more difficult to determine. You can look back and see what their pattern of work shows. If in doubt about this, take advice.
If, you have an employee for example who works every fourth Saturday and the Public Holiday falls on the fourth Saturday, then he is deemed to 'normally' work on the day concerned.
  • All Employees who work on any Public Holidays must be paid at least time and a half for the hours worked.
  • If the public holiday is a normal / usual working day for the employee they are also entitled to an alternative holiday to be taken later and paid at normal rates. If they work one hour on a Public Holiday they are entitled to time and a half for the hour and an alternative holiday (day in lieu) paid at normal rates.
  • Employees who would normally work on the day on which the public holiday falls, but do not work (perhaps because the business is closed) are entitled to be paid for the day at normal rates and are not entitled to an alternative holiday.
  • Employees who do not normally work on the calendar day on which the public holiday falls and do not work on the Public Holiday are not entitled to any pay
The only nationally recognised public holidays that are ‘Mondayised’ are the Christmas and New Year public holidays. All other nationally recognized holidays are observed on the day on which they fall. So... 2011 had Waitangi day falling on Sunday. Employees who only work Monday to Friday did not get a paid public holiday for Waitangi Day.

And also this year, Anzac Day (25th April) falls on Easter Monday. There is only one public holiday for the day - employees are not entitled to double entitlements.

The Easter Public holidays are Good Friday and Easter Monday. - Friday 22nd April and Monday 25th April. Easter Sunday is not a public holiday