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Transferring Public Holidays

Published 10 Nov 2017

Sometimes there can be circumstances which mean that observing a Public Holiday on the day it falls is not convenient for the business or for the employee.

An agreement can be made to transfer the observance of the Public Holiday to another day.

The Public Holiday being transferred must be an otherwise working day for the employee and the requirements of the Holidays Act 2003 must be met.

The requirements are that the day transferred to must be an identified calendar day or 24 hour period and it must be an otherwise working day for the employee and not another public holiday.

The employee is entitled to a paid day off on the day the Public Holiday was transferred to. If they work on this day then it is to be treated as a Public Holiday and the entitlement of time and a half and an alternative holiday must be provided. If an employee falls sick on this day or taken annual leave then it is still to be paid as a Public Holiday, their sick or annual leave should not be deducted.

A transfer can also be made in part for when an employee works a shift that spans over two days. In these circumstances the ‘day’ which the Public Holiday is being transferred to must be a period of 24 hours which starts or ends on the actual Public Holiday and covers the whole of the employees shift.

The purpose of a transfer cannot be to reduce the employee’s minimum entitlements such as being paid time and a half or receiving an alternative holiday. It also cannot be used to reduce the amount of Public Holidays the employee gets annually.