Employees are entitled to a paid day off on a public holiday if it would otherwise be a working day. These public holidays are separate from and additional to annual holidays.
If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and that day would otherwise be a working day for the employee, the holiday remains at the traditional day and the employee is entitled to that day off on pay. An employer and employee can also agree to transfer a public holiday from the day listed in the Holidays Act 2003 to another day.
Thinking about whether a day would “otherwise be a working day” is key to determining an employee’s entitlement regarding public holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave. In most cases, whether a day would “otherwise be a working day” is clear because the working week or roster is constant and both the employer and employee can understand and agree about whether the employee would otherwise work on the day. Where the employer and the employee cannot agree whether a day would “otherwise be a working day”, they should consider the following issues:
If the employer and employee are unable to reach agreement, a Labour Inspector has the power to determine the matter, taking into consideration the same issues.
If an employee has a day off on a public holiday, the employee is paid for that day if it would “otherwise be a working day” for them.
Examples: “Would otherwise be a working day”
If a part-time employee normally works four hours each day on Tuesday and Wednesday and normally works eight hours on Friday, the employee will be given Good Friday off with eight hours’ pay, but will not be entitled to pay for Easter Monday.
Where an employee’s roster requires three 10-hour days on Monday to Wednesday one week (week one) and the same hours on Thursday to Saturday the following week (week two), and if week one coincides with the week in which Good Friday falls, this employee will not get paid for Good Friday or Easter Monday (that will fall in week two) because they would not have been scheduled to work on that Friday or Monday. If, however, week two coincides with Good Friday, the employee will be entitled to a holiday on pay for both Good Friday and Easter Monday.
If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, some employees’ public holiday entitlements may be moved from the actual date of the holiday to the following Monday or Tuesday. This is known as “Mondayisation”.
The public holiday must fall on a Saturday or Sunday to be Mondayised. If a public holiday falls on a weekday, then the public holiday is not Mondayised.
If the following public holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday then they may be transferred to the following Monday.
Mondayisation of a public holiday depends on whether or not the employee would have normally worked on the actual date of the holiday: