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Christmas Holidays 2019-20 Employee Entitlements
26 November, 2019 | Carolyn Ranson
The festive season can be a challenging time of year for employers as you try to grapple with the complexities of the Holidays Act and understand employee entitlements. We set out here the requirements specific to the 2019/2020 festive holidays.
Public Holidays during a Close Down Period
If a business has a close down period that includes public holidays (as can happen over the Christmas and New Year period) then the employee is entitled to be paid public holidays if the public holidays fall on days which would otherwise be working days for them.
There are no public holidays falling on a weekend during this period this year.
Monday to Friday Workers
As Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the day after New Year’s Day fall on week days they will be observed on the days they fall (Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th December 2019 and Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd January 2020). Employees will be paid for those days if they would otherwise be working days for them.
If an employee does work any of those four days, they would be entitled to be paid 1.5 x their normally hourly rate AND receive a day off in lieu.
Casual/On Call Workers
Casual/On Call Workers are entitled to receive payment for a public holiday if it would otherwise have been a working day. For example if an employee can show a pattern of working on Wednesdays, they would more than likely be entitled to be paid for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Transferring the Observance of Public Holidays
Employers and employees can agree to transfer the observance of public holidays to another working day. Any request must be considered in good faith and any agreement must meet minimum statutory requirements.