• Leah Norman

Mondayised Public Holidays - How they work

Mondayised public holidays have been around for a long time when it comes to Christmas and New Year. In 2014 the government decided that ANZAC and Waitangi Day should be Mondayised as well. That avoids the nasty one-in-seven year situation where Monday-Friday workers were missing out on two public holidays in the same year.

If you thought 2020 was a tough year just wait until you realise the number of public holidays that will be Mondayised (five out of 10 public holidays) this year! With one even being Tuesdayised...

This year both Waitangi Day and Anzac Day will be observed on Monday for most people – even though Waitangi Day actually falls on a Saturday, and Anzac Day on a Sunday. Because Christmas will also be Mondayised, Boxing Day will then be Tuesdayised.

For most people, the Mondayised holiday is relatively easy to understand.

The concept of “Mondayising” holidays is to shift the observance of the holiday that may occur on a weekend to the next Monday for anyone who would not normally get the benefit of the holiday because they don’t work on the weekend.

In those cases, the law treats the Monday observance as the actual holiday, instead of the day that would normally be regarded as the holiday. But, and here’s the key, it only gets shifted to Monday for those workers who would not normally work on the weekend. In other words, for those who normally work on the weekend, the public holiday is on the Saturday or Sunday.

Obviously, this is great for the majority of people who work from Monday to Friday. It means they get the odd extra-long weekend, but how do Mondayised public holidays actually work? And how do you work out what you should get paid for them?

Keeping in mind that an employee gets just one public holiday, the scenarios set out below should cover all the possibilities:

  1. Your employee takes the Public Holiday on Saturday – if the employee normally works on Saturday (meaning it is otherwise a working day), they get the day off as a paid Public Holiday.

  2. Your employee works the Public Holiday on Saturday – if the employee normally works Saturdays and works some or all of that day they will be entitled to receive payment of at least time and one half for the actual hours they work. They will also get an alternative day off the date of which will need to be agreed. However, if the employee only works on Public Holidays, they will not get an alternative day.

  3. Your employee takes the Public Holiday on Monday – if the employee does not normally work on Saturday, they will be able to take Monday off on pay if they normally work that day. If they work on Monday, they will be paid at least time and one half of the actual hours they work and they will get an alternative day off the date of which will need to be agreed.

  4. Your employee is not entitled to the Public Holiday – if the employee does not normally work on Saturday or on Monday, they do not get a holiday and they do not receive any payment. However, if the employee is asked to work on that Saturday and does work, they will be paid at least time and one half but will not receive an alternative day. If the employee is then asked to work Monday and they do they will be paid their normal rate of pay.

  5. Boxing Day 2021 will be Tuesdayised as the result of Christmas next year being Mondayised.

Increasing the number of Mondayised public holidays is great overall, as it means more time off work for the majority of employees who work Monday to Friday. However, it can lead to some strange results when two workers work different days but are treated as working the same public holiday, or work the same day but get paid differently.

Establishing whether the public holiday is otherwise a working day for your staff member is the first step. The key is to remember that the Monday is treated as a public holiday only if the employee would not normally work on the weekend.

Still confused? Don't worry, you're not the only one. MBIE is aware of the confusion around the Holidays Act and provides a couple of helpful online tools. I find that this 'Otherwise Working Day' calculator is a great tool in this instance; http://apps.employment.govt.nz/holiday-tool/Owd.aspx

If you are concerned with whether the day is an otherwise a working day then work through the questions and see how you go (feel free to work through both the employer and employee versions of the questions just to be sure).

Disclaimer This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.

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