Holidays in New Zealand

Holidays law in New Zealand was first introduced in 1870s. The number of holidays employees are entitled by laws has been increasing with the development of productivity, economy and civilization. In New Zealand employees can now enjoy four-week annual holidays and eleven days of public holidays. Furthermore, people who work on public holidays are entitled to time-and-a-half pay and a further day off.

What follows is a brief introduction to the relevant provisions in the Holidays Act 2003.

Annual Holidays

In New Zealand, employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks paid annual holidays after twelve months of continuous employment. However, employers may require employees to take their annual holidays in advance especially when there is a close-down period, for example, where a business closes over the Christmas or New Year period. An employer may have only 1 closedown period in any 12-month period and at least 14 days’ advance notice of the closedown must be given to the employees.

Public Holidays

Public holidays include Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, 2 January, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, ANZAC Day, the birthday of the reigning Sovereign (observed on the first Monday in June), Labor Day (being the fourth Monday in October) and the day of the anniversary of a province or the day locally observed as that day.

If an employee works (in accordance with his or her employment agreement) on a public holiday, the employer must pay the employee time-and-a-half. In addition, one paid day off work must be provided to the employee.

Sick & Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled to paid leave in the event of their sickness or injury after the employee has completed six months continuous employment with the employer. Employees are entitled to five days’ sick leave after 12 month of employment with the employer.

An employee may take up to three days of bereavement leave with pay depending on the relationship between the employee and the deceased person.

Please note that the above information is intended to provide general information only. The contents contained in this article do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice please contact our professional team at Forest Harrison.