Christmas Holiday 2018-19 Employee Entitlements in NZ

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The festive season can be a challenging time of year for employers as you try to grapple with the complexities of the Holidays Act and understand employee entitlements. We set out here the requirements specific to the 2018/2019 festive holidays.

Leave Entitlements Public Holidays NZPublic Holidays during a Close Down Period
If a business has a close down period that includes public holidays (as can happen over the Christmas and New Year period) then the employee is entitled to be paid public holidays if the public holidays fall on days which would otherwise be working days for them.


Weekend Workers
There are no public holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday during this period this year.

Monday to Friday Workers
As Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and the day after New Years Day fall  (Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December 2018 and Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd January 2019). Employees will be paid for those days if they would otherwise be working days for them. 

If an employee does work any of those four days, they would be entitled to be paid 1.5 x their normally hourly rate AND receive a day off in lieu.

Casual/On Call Workers
Casual/On Call Workers are entitled to receive payment for a public holiday if it would otherwise have been a working day. For example if an employee can show a pattern of working on Tuesdays, they would more than likely be entitled to be paid for Christmas Day and New Years Day. 

Understanding the Holidays Act in New ZealandTransferring the Observance of Public Holidays
Employers and employees can agree to transfer the observance of public holidays to another working day. Any request must be considered in good faith and any agreement must meet minimum statutory requirements.

If you would like to discuss any matters relating to holiday leave entitlements or any other employment related matter, please contact:
Employment law specialist, Carolyn Ranson
Phone on 09 836 0939 or
Email Carolyn.Ranson@smithpartners.co.nz 
                                                        Send an online enquiry here.