As the summer approaches, and with several public holidays on the horizon, it’s crucial for both employers and employees in New Zealand to be well-versed in leave entitlements. Here’s a quick “employment over the holiday period” refresher to guide you through the upcoming holiday season.
All employees, regardless of their employment type, are entitled to a minimum of four weeks of paid annual holidays after completing twelve months of continuous employment with the same employer.
Employees can enjoy up to eleven public holidays each year. If a public holiday is also a regular working day for an employee, then they’re entitled to a paid day off. “Regular working day” doesn’t specifically mean contracted days, instead it’s related to the employee’s patterns of work. Employees that do work on a public holiday are compensated with pay at a time and a half rate, plus an alternative day off.
Many public holidays are subject to “Mondayisation” or “Tuesdayisation” if they fall on a weekend. Employment New Zealand has a table of the public holidays for 2023 and 2024 here.
Sick Leave and Bereavement Leave:
After six months of continuous employment with the same employer, employees may start to apply for sick leave and bereavement leave.
It is the employer’s responsibility to inform employees about their leave entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003. This must be clearly outlined in their employment agreements.
Businesses with close-down periods may have public holidays included in that close-down – particularly over the Christmas and New Year period. Employees are still entitled to a paid public holiday if they would have normally worked on that day had the close-down not been in effect.
Compliance with these leave entitlements fosters a positive work environment and helps both employers and employees enjoy a well-deserved break during the holiday season. For more detailed information and examples, you can refer to Employment New Zealand’s Holidays page, the Holidays Act 2003 or get in touch.
A well-informed workforce is a productive and satisfied one. Wishing everyone a fantastic and relaxing holiday season!