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Four weeks holiday to be debated

Four weeks holiday to be debated

“Parliament will soon vote on whether every worker should have at least four weeks holiday a year,” said Progressive MP Matt Robson.

He was commenting on his member’s bill being drawn in the ballot today. The full title is Holidays (Four Weeks Annual Leave) Amendment Bill.

“I am confident that Parliament will recognize the overwhelming support from working people and vote for the first reading. My Bill will then go to a select committee for public submissions.

“A change to four weeks minimum will go some way to bring New Zealand into line with workers in many other countries.

“For example, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Greece give workers an annual paid leave entitlement of four weeks with others such as France, Austria, Spain and Finland giving their workers an entitlement of six weeks.

“This bill provides New Zealand workers with the minimum leave entitlement that is legally mandated by the European Union.

Historically, the first mention of holidays without loss of pay is in the Employment of Females Act 1873. This measure provided for a holiday on every Saturday afternoon after 2pm and also set aside Sunday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday and any other day set aside as a public holiday.

It took until 1944 for every worker to gain a right to two weeks paid annual leave, and then another thirty years before it was raised to three weeks, in 1974. Since that time nearly thirty more years have passed without any improvement.

The bill amends the Holidays Act 1981 to provide that every worker, at the end of each year of his or her employment by any one employer, becomes entitled to an annual holiday of four weeks on holiday pay, instead of the current three weeks.

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