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Court decision adds complexity to Holidays Act

Court decision adds more complexity to Holidays Act

A court ruling on public holidays for Air NZ pilots reveals further difficulties with the Holidays Act, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says today’s Appeal Court decision - that employers must specify the day on which a statutory holiday is to be observed - creates more administrative difficulties for employers.

"The Act is hard enough to comply with already, with complex calculations required to work out how much to pay employees on sick days and public holidays.

“Employers who sensibly work with employees and unions to simplify their leave management will find that approach no longer available to them.”

The case concerned Air NZ pilots who have historically been given 11 extra days’ leave each year, to recognise the fact they may be rostered to work on public holidays – a similar arrangement to others in the service and manufacturing vice sectors.

Today’s ruling means such arrangements are no longer permitted. Air NZ must now separately designate in advance each day to be exchanged for statutory holidays – a difficult task across a large workforce.

“Companies that previously worked with their employees to simplify life under a complicated Act must now decide in advance which employees will work on a public holiday and which ones will exchange it for some other specified exchange day - then change their payroll systems to ensure employees get paid time and a half if they work on each of those specific days.

“This removes much of the flexibility required for companies to respond to changing business conditions,” Mr O’Reilly said.


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