The festive season can sometimes mean lots of confusion for employers and workers as they try to work out how much everyone is entitled to across a moving feast of public holidays.
It is especially an issue for businesses that do not shut up shop and send everyone to the beach for a couple of weeks.
Here are some basic rules to help you work out what might apply to you - or your staff.
Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Sunday this year. This means the Christmas Day public holiday will be observed on December 27 by businesses that only normally open from Monday to Friday.
New Year's Day's public holiday also shifts to the following Tuesday.
Businesses that stay shut on the Monday and Tuesday each week will pay their staff as if they had gone to work as normal.
Those staff will not be required to use their annual leave if they are off those days.
Firms that open and require staff to work will pay them time-and-a-half and offer a day in lieu.
But it is a different story for those who will open on Christmas Day and New Year's Day themselves.
Those workers required on the Sundays will be paid time-and-a-half and get the day in lieu on that day.
If they then work the Tuesdays, too, that becomes just a normal working day. That's because, no matter how your work days fall, you cannot claim for the same public holiday twice.
Those who would not normally work on any of the public holidays - such as workers who only have to work Wednesday through Saturday, for example - are not entitled to any payment for them.
Workers who agree to go into work when they otherwise would not normally get time and a half, but no day in lieu.
If they are on call, they should still be compensated with time-and-a-half for any hours they work and get a day off in lieu if they have to limit what they do with their day.
By Jeremy Tauri
Phone: (09) 438 3322
Fax: 438 8455
134 Bank Street, Whangarei
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