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PKF Poutsma Lemon Limited
PKF Poutsma Lemon Ltd, Keri Keri, New Zealand
Accountants and business advisers

Public Holidays - To pay or not to pay , that is the question


The silly season is fast approaching and with it employers will have to contend with annual shut downs, calculating annual leave, working out public holiday entitlement as well as attending the varied and many Christmas parties which have started already (yes I attended my first "November" one yesterday!).


Employers can find that working out public holiday payments and entitlement to days in lieu quite tricky, so here is the run down:


First you need to ascertain which day is to be recognised  as the public holiday for each employee.


If Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day or the day after New Years day fall on a weekend then they are 'Mondayised'. 


For this holiday season both Boxing Day and the Day after New Years Day fall on a Saturday and so are recognised on the following Monday.

  • If an employee normally works on a Saturday then their public holiday will be the Saturday whether they work or not.
  • If an employee does not normally work on a Saturday but they do normally work on a Monday, then for that employee the public holiday will be the Monday following the public holiday. 
  • If an employee does not normally work Saturday or Monday, then they will not be entitled to either of Boxing Day or the Day after New Years Day as they do not fall on their 'normal' day of work.


If an employee does not work on a public holiday:

  • They will be paid for a normal day of work if the public holiday falls on a 'normal' day of work for that employee (refer above). Whether that day be Saturday or Mondayised.


If an employee works on a public holiday:

  • They are entitled to be paid a minimum of one and a half times the hours actually worked
  • If the public holiday falls on the employees 'normal' working day, they are entitled to a day in lieu. The day in lieu will accrue as a full day of work regardless of how many hours an employee actually works on the public holiday. So if Mrs Claus worked only 4 hours on the public holiday, she would still be entitled to a full 8 hour day in lieu.
  • If the public holiday day is 'not' the employees normal working then there is no entitlement to day in lieu


If an employee is sick or bereaved on a public holiday which is their normal day of work:

  • The day will be paid as an unworked public holiday
  • No sick or bereavement leave will be deducted from their entitlement


An employee is only entitled to be paid once for a public holiday in the situation where the holiday is Mondayised. For example: Mrs Claus normally works a Saturday and a Monday. Her public holiday will be the Saturday only and the Monday will be a normal day of work.


Christmas payroll can seem quite daunting at first but once you understand the technicalities it is a piece of Christmas cake!


We are holding a payroll seminar on Tuesday the 8th of December at our Kerikeri Office. This seminar will cover the above as well as Christmas Shut-downs, Holiday pay entitlement, Cash up of Holiday Pay and employer responsibilities. Contact our office 407 7142 or e-mail to book your seat, see you there!


PKF Poutsma Lemon Limited

Janine Telfer 




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