Working over the Christmas period – how does it work?

Hand with marker writing: How Does It Work?

  1. A word about work and Public Holidays – The Holidays Act, dictates how employees should be paid on public holidays, depending on whether they actually work on that day and, separately, on whether they would normally have worked on the day had it not been a holiday. Put simply – anyone who does work on a public holiday must be paid at time and a half (x 1.5) for any time spent working and, if they would normally have gone to work had it not been a public holiday, they should also get a full day off in lieu.

Anyone who does not go to work on the public holiday but would normally have gone to work had it not been a holiday, should be paid for the day just as though they attended work. On the other hand, anyone who does not work on a public holiday and would normally not work on that day, does not get any pay for the day.

2.“Monday-isation” (… actually it’s “Tuesday-isation” this year!) – when a Public Holiday falls on a weekend, it is ‘transferred’ to be observed on the next working day of the week. Therefore, if a Public Holiday falls on a Sunday and an employee does not normally work on the Sunday, then they will get their holiday entitlements on either the following Monday or Tuesday. Instead, an employee who does normally work on the Sunday, will get their holiday entitlements on the Sunday, this being the actual calendar date of the public holiday.

3. What this will mean over the 2016 Christmas period – The four Public Holidays over the Christmas period, namely Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the day after NYD, this year fall on a Sunday and a Monday.

Let’s apply the above Holiday Act ‘principles’ to see how staff should be paid for the public holidays.

For Boxing Day (26/12/16) and the day following NYD (2/1/17), it should be pretty straightforward as these two holidays will be observed on the day that they fall, this being a Monday. Therefore, if an employee is required to work on either or both of these days, that work is paid x 1.5 for the time they actually work on the day(s). If the employee would normally work on Monday, they are also entitled to an alternative holiday(s), while if they do not normally work on a Monday, they are not entitled to the alternative holiday.

If an Employee normally works a Monday, but is not required to work on either or both of these days, the Employee is entitled to be paid for those days. If instead the employee does not normally work on Monday and is not required to work on either or both of these days, they have their day off as normal.

4. For Christmas Day (25/12/16) and New Year’s Day (1/1/17) a number of scenarios are possible, so the following table should help you work out what employees are entitled to. Hopefully if you take a deep breath and read it slowly, you should be able to work it out … otherwise feel free to call me on 021 074 4610:

Employee DOES normally work on Sunday Employee DOES NOT normally work on Sunday but DOES normally work on Tuesday Employee DOES NOT normally work on Sunday and DOES NOT normally work on Tuesday
If employee is not required to work – public holiday is not transferred so they observe holiday on Sunday and are paid for it If employee is required to work on Sunday but not on Tuesday – they would be paid their normal rate for working Sunday and then observe the public holiday and be paid their relevant daily pay on Tuesday If employee is required to work on Sunday but not on Tuesday – they should be paid their normal rate for working Sunday and there are no further entitlements on Tuesday
If employee is required to work – public holiday is not transferred and employee is entitled to be paid x1.5 for the hours worked plus an alternative holiday If employee is required to work Tuesday but not on Sunday – Sunday is treated as a normal day off and the public holiday entitlements are transferred to the Tuesday. The employee will be paid x1.5 for the hours worked on Tuesday and get a full day in lieu If employee is required to work Tuesday but not on Sunday – Sunday is a normal day off with no holiday entitlements for the employee. The employee will be paid x1.5 for any hours worked on Tuesday. Not entitled to day in lieu
There are no further entitlements on the Tuesday because the public holiday would have been observed on Sunday If employee is required to work both Sunday and Tuesday – They will be paid their normal rate for the hours worked on Sunday and x1.5 for any hours worked on Tuesday plus a day in lieu If employee is required to work both Sunday and Tuesday – they will be paid their normal rate for working on Sunday and x1.5 for working Tuesday. Not entitled to day in lieu
If employee is NOT required to work either day – Sunday is a normal day off and the public holiday entitlements are transferred to the Tuesday. The employee will then have the day off on Tuesday and will be entitled to be paid their relevant daily pay or average daily pay If employee is NOT required to work either day – being normal days off for the employee they are not entitled to any payment for Sunday or Tuesday nor any day off in lieu