Waitangi Day will always be officially observed on the 6th day of February, despite the day of the week this date falls.

However the Holidays Amendment Act 2013 has ‘Mondayised’ Waitangi Day by stating that if the 6th of February falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a public holiday.

This year, 2016, Waitangi Day is on a Saturday.

So what does this mean for employers and employees when it comes to entitlement and payment for the public holiday?

For employers it is not simple but it is important to understand the effect of this change in legislation, particularly from an administrative and payroll perspective. Employees who would not otherwise work on the Saturday, will treat Waitangi Day as falling on the following Monday. The Monday is a public holiday and paid as a usual working day.

For employees who usually work on the Saturday, the public holiday is treated as falling on the Saturday, with payment for the day being paid at time and a half, plus a day in lieu. Should the employees usual working days be both the Saturday and the Monday, the employee is only entitled to one day paid as the public holiday. Waitangi Day will be recognised on the Saturday. Payment for Saturday will be at time and a half with a day in lieu and Monday will be a usual working day. If those employees also take a holiday on Monday then it will be treated as a day’s annual leave

If you have any questions or would like to know more please contact Rebecca de Farias at Burley Attwood Law on (07) 927 7486 or rebecca@balaw.co.nz.