Need to know how to pay your staff for the 2022 Public Holidays? You’re in the right place!
Sometimes public holidays in New Zealand are Mondayised or Tuesdayised. This means when the calendar date of the public holiday falls on a weekend day, the holiday is transferred to the nearest Monday or in some cases, Tuesday. Learn more about Mondayised public holidays here.
How do I work out how to pay my staff for public holidays?
To work out an employee’s statutory and public holidays entitlements, you need to know whether the day is “an otherwise working day” for the employee. Basically, is it a day that they would normally have worked, if it were not a public holiday?
If the public holiday falls on an ‘otherwise working day’ for your employee, you are required either to:
- give them a pay day off; or
- pay time and a half and give them an alternative day off.
If the public holiday is not an otherwise working day but the employee works, you need to pay them time and a half, but you are not required to provide a day in lieu of the public holiday.
In many cases it’s easy to work out whether or not an employee would otherwise have worked on the day in question because the working pattern or roster is constant and the two of you can easily agree about whether the employee would otherwise have worked that day or not. However, if it’s unclear, then you must try to reach agreement with your employee. In doing so, you both need to consider all of the following factors:
- what the employment agreement says
- the employee’s usual work patterns
- any other relevant factors such as:
- if the employee works for the employer only when work is available
- the employer’s rosters or other similar systems
- the reasonable expectations of the employer and employee as to whether the employee would have worked on that day
- if the employee would normally have worked if it wasn’t a holiday (public or alternative) or if the employee was not on leave (sick or bereavement).
You can’t take an employee off the roster on a public holiday when it’s a day that he or she would otherwise have worked on, in order to avoid remunerating the employee public holiday pay. Not recognising an employee’s holiday entitlements is against the law.
Did you know that Easter Sunday is not a Public Holiday?
‘How do I pay my staff that would normally work that day?’ we hear you ask. If your store is closed on Easter Sunday, due to the Holidays Act 2003 being silent on how to treat the day, it comes down to either what is provided for in the employees individual employment agreement, or good faith provisions would apply and you should have a discussion with employees about what type of leave they would like to take for the day. Some employers choose to pay it as a normal working day as a gesture of good faith.
If you can’t come to an agreement, you are able to direct the employee to take a day of annual leave, provided you give them a minimum of 14 days’ notice. Check out our Easter Sunday Trading Guide for more advice on whether your store is allowed to open.
If you’re still not sure you can contact us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia).
Make sure you are in the know about Public Holidays
It seems that every time a public holiday or long weekend comes around, there’s a lot of scratching of heads, wondering what to pay staff and why.
We have formatted a guide specifically for this area, breaking the Holidays Act down, and providing some working examples to help ease the process.
It’s FREE for Retail NZ members (make sure you are logged in) or $29 plus GST for non-members. Get your copy today from our resource library.
If you have any further queries with regards to public holidays compliance, or employment matters in general – do not hesitate to give our Advice Service a call on 0800 472 472 (or 1800 128 086 from Australia), or email the team at [email protected].