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Mondayisation – 2021 the year of the long weekends.

Be prepared – 2021 is set to be the year of the long weekend, with Waitangi Day, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day all falling on weekend days this year.

From 2014 when the law changed, public holidays that are not attached to a specific date (e.g., Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) may now be moved to a weekday (i.e. they may be Mondayised) if they were to fall on a Saturday or Sunday. However, whether a public holiday is Mondayised for an employee, depends on what days of the week an employee normally works.

If a public holiday were to fall on a Saturday, Mondayisation would only occur if that Saturday was not an otherwise working day for the employee. For example, Waitangi Day falls on a Saturday this year. So, if that Saturday is otherwise a working day for an employee, then there is no Mondaysiation and the employee would observe Saturday 6 February 2021 as the public holiday for Waitangi Day this year.

‘Otherwise a working day’

A day that would ‘otherwise be a working day’ is a day that an employee would have been working, had the day not been a public holiday.

For some employees, it will be easy to work out whether a particular day would ‘otherwise be a working day’ for that employee. For example, for employees who always work Monday-Friday, it is straightforward: Saturday 6 February 2021 would not ‘otherwise be a working day’ for those employees as they never work on Saturdays.

However, for other employees the situation may be less clear. For example, an employee may work rostered hours or their pattern of work may be irregular and may change each week.

If it is unclear whether a particular day would ‘otherwise be a working day’ for an employee, the employer will need to work with the employee to try to reach agreement by looking at all relevant factors (such as the employee’s employment agreement, work patterns, roster information etc.)

The Employment New Zealand website has a calculator which can assist employers with assessing what would ‘otherwise be a working day’ for their employees. You can access this calculator here.

 

Examples of scenarios

Using Waitangi Day as an example, below are some scenarios to help you understand when you are required to Mondayise Waitangi Day and when you are required to observe it on the day that it falls, being Saturday 6 February 2021:

  1. If an employee does not normally work on a Saturday but normally works on a Monday (e.g., the employee works 9-5pm, Monday-Friday each week), then Waitangi Day 2021 will be Mondayised for that employee. This means that the employee will observe Waitangi Day 2021 on Monday 8 February 2021. If the employer requires the employee to work on Monday then the employee must be paid time and a half plus receive a day in lieu. If the employee is not required to work on Monday then the employee must be paid not less than their relevant daily pay or average daily pay for that day.

  2. If an employee normally works on a Saturday but does not normally work on a Monday, then Waitangi Day 2021 will be observed on Saturday 6 February 2021 for that employee. Depending on whether or not the employee is required to work on Saturday 6 February 2021, payment for the public holiday will follow the same lines as noted above.

  3. If an employee normally works on both a Saturday and a Monday then Waitangi Day must be observed on the day it actually falls (i.e. Saturday 6 February 2021). If the employee works on Saturday, then as that day is the public holiday the employee will receive time and a half plus a day in lieu. The following Monday would then be a regular working day for that employee. If the employee does not work on the Saturday (the day of the public holiday) then, as above, the employee will have a paid day off and will be paid just like for any other public holidays (i.e. not less than their relevant daily pay or average daily pay).

  4. If an employee does not normally work on a Saturday or a Monday (for example if the employee works part-time Tuesday-Friday each week) then the public holiday will not be observed by that employee this year. However, if the employee does work on Saturday 6 February 2021 (being Waitangi Day) then the employee will be paid time and a half, but will not receive a day in lieu.

For the avoidance of doubt, employers may only require an employee to work on a public holiday if the employee’s employment agreement contains a clause that allows the employer to do so and the day the public holiday falls on would ‘otherwise be a working day’ for that employee.

 


There is no doubt that the Holidays Act 2003 is complex and confusing. If you need assistance navigating how to pay staff for Waitangi Day this weekend, or any other public holidays for 2021, including what rate of pay to apply (e.g., average daily pay or relevant daily pay), please contact one of our specialist Employment law team members today, or call 09 883 4420.

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