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Mondayisation of Public Holidays Xmas 2020

Published 07 Dec 2020

This year two public holidays during the Christmas/New Year period will fall on a Saturday, being Boxing Day (26 December) and the “Day after New Year’s Day” (2 January).  Unless there is an agreement in writing between the parties stating something different, both of these holidays will be observed on the following Monday, being 28 December and 4 January respectively.

If the business is closed on Monday all employees get the day off and are to be paid their relevant daily pay. If any employee works on Monday and that day is one of their usual working days they will be paid a minimum of time and a half for all hours worked and receive an alternate day off at their relevant daily pay. If the day is not their usual working day and they do work, the employee receives payment at time and a half for all hours worked but would not qualify for an alternate day off.

If the employee normally works on Saturday, they would get that day off and be paid their relevant daily pay.  If they work on Saturday they will be paid at time and a half for all hours worked and receive an alternate day off, paid at their relevant daily pay. In these cases, Saturday is the actual holiday and not the following Monday.

If the employee is on call, the payment of wages and the entitlement to an alternate day off will depend on the circumstances.  If an employee is required to be available outside of their usual days and hours their employment agreement must have a provision to enable this and show how their availability is compensated. The public holiday entitlements will depend on whether or not it is a usual working day, if they are actually called out and what limitations are placed on their personal freedom during the on call period i.e. do they have to respond immediately, can they go out or drink alcohol, etc.

If an employee usually works both Saturdays and Mondays, they can only receive a public holiday for one of those days, usually the Saturday.  Work done on Saturday would be treated as the public holiday as covered above.  If the business is closed on Monday (because that is when most businesses will observe the holiday) and the employee is not required to work, there is an argument that they should still receive their normal pay for the Monday.

As you can see the entitlements can be difficult to determine.  If you are unsure call us before committing to any arrangements with employees or finalising payroll arrangements.

For more help on relevant daily pay please see our eGuide on Annual Holidays and Leave. Members can download this from the Library in the Employers Toolbox.