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Public Holidays Are Not Necessarily Paid Holidays

Published 01 Mar 2010

The Employers Assistance hotline continues to receive many calls asking for clarification of the law with regard to public holidays.

It is important to remember that public holidays are not stated as necessarily being paid public holidays.

If an employee does not normally work on the day in question and the employee does not work on the actual public holiday, they are not entitled to a payment for the day.

For example, a part-time employee, who never works Monday, has no entitlement to a payment for Easter Monday if they didn't work on that day. Similarly a full time employee who normally works from Monday to Friday, is not entitled to be paid for Waitangi day in 2010 (a Saturday), if they did not work on Saturday 6th February 2010.

Please note that the public holidays over the Easter period are Good Friday and Easter Monday. Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday are not public holidays. This means that employees who normally work on Saturdays or Sundays are not entitled to paid days off or time and a half for the hours they work on Easter Saturday/Sunday (unless otherwise stated in their employment agreement.)

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are both restricted trading days, which means that most shops selling retail goods must close on these days. Businesses selling services, e.g. hairdressers cutting your hair, will normally be allowed to remain open (Goods in these shops can not be sold)". Call EAL to discuss...

For full details on holidays and how they are applied please see our Holidays & Leave ebook, which is available Free to Employers Support Package subscribers – non-subscribers are able to purchase the ebook - click here >>