When is an employee entitled to a public holiday?
There is no minimum period of time an employee has to be employed to become entitled to a public holiday and it does not make a difference if an employee is classed as casual, part time or full time.
All employees would be entitled to be paid for a public holiday if the public holiday falls on a day that would have been an otherwise working day for the employee. This means, but for the day being a public holiday the employee would have worked on day concerned. In other words, if it was not a public holiday, would the employee have been working on that day? If the answer is yes, they would be entitled to have the day off on pay; if the answer is no, they are not entitled to observe the public holiday.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine an otherwise working day for an employee. In most situations, looking at an employee's working patterns can help determine which days the employee would normally work on. For example, if an employer uses a roster system, then this roster may be able to be used to determine normal working days, therefore entitlements to public holidays. Other factors to consider include:
what the employment agreement says
the employee's usual work patterns
the employer's rosters or other similar systems
the reasonable expectations of the employer and employee as to whether the employee would work on the day concerned
whether the employee works for the employer only when work is available
any other relevant factors
See more information on public holidays.
Payment for public holidays and alternative holidays will be calculated at the employee's "relevant daily pay" as defined under s9 of the Holidays Act 2003. If it is not possible or practicable to determine the employee's relevant daily pay or if the employee's daily pay has varied within the pay period in question, the employee's average daily pay may be used.
See our section on calculating "relevant daily pay" and "average daily pay" for public holidays.
Date Modified: Friday, 1 June 2012
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and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers
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