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24 B Dick St, Cambridge

Christmas is Coming…

Now is the time of year for businesses to make sure that they have a clear understanding of the notoriously complex Holidays Act and how they will apply it to staff leave over the Christmas and New Year period. The Ministry of Business and Innovation has released this document and also this website summarising it, which is lucky since the document is 91 pages long.

Using good payroll software like MYOB or Xero will make this process WAY easier but for those who don’t have it, now’s the time to start reading. This is not something you want to leave until the last minute.

If your employees work set hours weekly then this is going to be far easier to deal with than it will be for those businesses who employ staff with fluctuating hours. And the trend towards that kind of employment is one of the reasons that the Holidays Act is currently under review. MYOB has provided this link to where you can make a submission.

Kerrin has provided us with some basic information below:

Working on public holidays

You’re entitled to a paid day off on public holidays that fall on days you’d normally work. If you choose to work, you should be paid at least time and a half and get another paid day off later.

This year is a lot simpler for employees as the actual holiday days fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday (which are days most people normally work) so there is no ‘Mondayisation’ effect as in the past years.


When a public holiday falls on a day you usually work

You’re entitled to a paid day off. You don’t have to take annual leave and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with the company or how many hours you work.

If you choose to work on a public holiday

If you choose to work on a public holiday and it’s a day you’d usually work, you’ll:

  • be paid at least time and a half (1.5 times what you’d usually make for that day’s work – for the time you actually work), and
  • get a paid day off to take later — called a day in lieu — even if you’ve only worked part of a shift.

If it’s not a day you’d usually work but you choose to work it, you’ll just be paid time and a half.


Example 1. Joan works 9 – 5pm Monday to Friday. She does not work on the 25th and 26th of December. She will be entitled to be paid her normal wage for those two days

Example 2. John works 9 – 5pm Monday to Friday. John agrees to work 9 – 1pm on Tuesday 25th. He will be paid 1.5 times his normal rate for the 4 hours, plus be entitled to take a full day off some time in the future

Example 3. Stuart works Saturday’s and Sunday’s only. He agrees to work 1 – 5pm on Tuesday 25th. He is entitled to be paid 1.5 times his normal rate for the 4 hours. He is not entitled to a day’s leave some time in the future.

For any further advice or assistance contact Kerrin: kerrin@greenmouse.co.nz

Happy Holidays!