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Waitangi Day and 'Mondayisation'

29 January 2021

It feels like we’ve only just gotten back to work from our summer holidays, but Waitangi Day is fast approaching. Because Waitangi Day falls on Saturday 6th February this year, many of us will take the public holiday on Monday 8th February instead. Here’s what you need to know about the ‘Mondayisation’ of public holidays.

What is Mondayisation?

Because the majority of New Zealanders work Monday through Friday, public holidays that fall on a weekend are moved to the following Monday so more people can enjoy them. Because Waitangi Day falls on a Saturday this year, the public holiday is moved to Monday 8th February.

Who has to work on Waitangi Day?

If your employees normally work on Mondays they can only be made to work or be available on Monday 8th February, if:

  • the requirement to work on public holidays is written in their employment agreement, or
  • there is an availability clause and the employee is paid fairly to be available.

Otherwise, employees do not have to agree to work or be available during Waitangi Monday.

Waitangi Day and holiday pay

Employees must be paid for Waitangi Day, if they would normally have worked on Saturday 6th February or Monday 8th February. If they don’t normally work on these particular days, they don’t need to be paid for Waitangi Day.

Any of your employees, including casual employees, who agree to work on Waitangi Saturday must be paid time and a half for all hours they work. Any employees who agree to work on Monday 8th February and did not work on Saturday 6 February, must be paid time and a half, if Monday is a day that they usually work. If an employee works on both Waitangi Saturday 6th February and Monday 8th February, they only get paid time and a half for one of the days.

If the Waitangi Saturday or Monday falls on a day an employee would normally work, then the employee who works is also entitled to a paid day off at another time (also called a day in lieu).

Even if you close your business for either the 6th or 8th of February, or both of those days, you still have to pay employees their entitlements for the public holiday. If you close your business on both days, you cannot make your employees take annual leave on one of the days, unless you have given them 14 days’ notice.

This can all be a bit confusing, the table below from Employment New Zealand summarises the entitlements of your employees when public holidays fall on a Saturday.

Table of entitlements for a calendar date public holiday falling on a Saturday

Do you normally work Saturday?

Do you normally work Monday?

Entitlement

These are minimum entitlements. Check your employment agreement for extra entitlements.

No

Yes

Holiday Mondayised

If you work on Saturday and not Monday:

You will be paid your normal rate for working Saturday. You will be provided a paid day off on Monday and will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay. You will not get any alternative holiday (day in lieu).

If you work on Monday and not Saturday:

You will be paid time and half for working on Monday and get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu) for working Monday.

If you work both days:

You will be paid your normal rate for working Saturday and time and a half for working Monday. You will also get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu) for working Monday.

If you work neither day:

You will be provided a paid day off on Monday, you will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay.

No

No

Holiday Mondayised

If you work on Saturday and not Monday:

You will be paid your normal rate for working Saturday. You won’t get an alternative holiday (day in lieu).

If you work on Monday and not Saturday:

You will be paid time and a half for working Monday. You won’t get an alternative holiday (day in lieu).

If you work both days:

You will be paid your normal rate for working Saturday and paid time and a half for working Monday. You won’t get an alternative holiday (day in lieu).

If you work neither day:

You won’t get any public holiday related payment for Saturday or Monday. You won’t get an alternative holiday (day in lieu).

Yes

Yes

Holiday not Mondayised

If you work on Saturday and not Monday:

You will be paid time and a half for working Saturday and get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu) for working Saturday. You won’t get any public holiday related payment for Monday.

If you work on Monday and not Saturday:

You will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay for a day off on Saturday and paid your normal rates for working Monday.

If you work both days:

You will be paid time and a half for working Saturday and get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu). You will be paid your normal rate for working Monday.

If you work neither day:

You will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay, for a day off on Saturday.

Yes

No

Holiday not Mondayised

If you work on Saturday and not Monday:

You will be paid time and a half for working Saturday and get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu).

If you work on Monday and not Saturday:

You will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay for a day off on Saturday. You will be paid your normal rate for working Monday.

If you work both days:

You will be paid time and a half for working Saturday and get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu). You will be paid your normal rate for working Monday.

If you work neither day:

You will be paid your relevant daily pay or average daily pay for a day off on Saturday.

 

Giving an employee Waitangi Day entitlements

If any employees normally do not work on a Saturday, they get the public holiday on the Mondayised Waitangi Monday.

If employees would normally work on a Saturday if it was not a public holiday, then they will get their holiday entitlements on Waitangi Saturday.

If employees do not normally work on a Saturday, but work on the Mondayised Waitangi day, then their holiday entitlement is transferred to the Waitangi Monday.

Sick or bereavement leave on Waitangi Day

If an employee would have worked on a public holiday but is sick or bereaved, the day is treated as a normal paid public holiday. The employee would be paid their relevant daily pay, but would not be entitled to time and a half or an alternative holiday. Also, no sick or bereavement leave is deducted.

Waitangi day and annual holidays

If your employees are in the middle of their annual holidays during Waitangi Day, and either Waitangi Saturday or Monday is a day they normally work, they will get paid for one public holiday. This is not deducted from their annual holidays.

Please note, this is an absolute must, you and your employees cannot agree to waive this requirement.

Requests for annual holidays

Sometimes employees will request to take annual holidays around Waitangi Day. For example, requesting leave on either the Friday or Tuesday to extend the long holiday weekend by another day.

Employees are entitled to 4 weeks’ annual holidays each year when they have worked for their employer for 12 months. Prior to the 12 months, an employer may grant annual holidays in advance at their discretion.

If one of your employees wants to take their entitled annual holidays, you can’t refuse without a reasonable basis to do so. You can say no if an employee wants to take annual holidays in advance.

If any of these points are unclear, we’re here to help. It’s also worth remembering these same rules will apply this year come April and ANZAC Day. In 2021, ANZAC Day falls on Sunday 25th April but will be commemorated on Monday 26th instead. Take note now so you don’t get caught out.

In the meantime, here’s hoping this clears up employee and employer rights and obligations, so you hopefully have an opportunity to enjoy some sun and relax over the long weekend.