What is an otherwise working day?
An "otherwise working day" is a term used in the Holidays Act 2003 to determine eligibility for public holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave. The principle behind "otherwise working day" is that the day must be one that, but for the day away from work (on a public holiday, alternative holiday, sick leave or bereavement leave) the employee would have worked and therefore should be paid for it.
In most cases whether a day would be an otherwise working day is clear because the working pattern or roster is constant and the employer and employee can understand and agree about whether the employee would otherwise have worked on the day in question.
Where the employer and employee cannot agree whether a day would otherwise be a working day the Act gives guidance as to the factors that must be taken into account when assessing whether a day would be an otherwise working day. For example, whether the employee only works for the employer when work is available, or other reasonable expectations that the employee would have work on the day concerned.
Use our Holidays and Leave Tool to work out entitlements for public holidays, and sickness and bereavement leave.
Date Modified: Thursday, 31 March 2011
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