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Holiday and statutory entitlements reminder

19 December 2007 Media Statement

Holiday and statutory entitlements reminder

As the summer holidays approach, employers and workers were reminded today of four weeks paid annual leave and compensation for working public holidays that have been introduced by the Labour-led government.

"It is important for both employers and employees to be clear about pay and leave entitlements over the upcoming holiday period," Labour Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The Labour-led government introduced four weeks annual leave for every permanent employee last year, and also introduced fair and decent compensation for working on public holidays – equivalent to time and a half and a day off in lieu.

"These initiatives are part of our commitment to creating safe, healthy, fair and productive workplaces – as we work to raise living standards and create quality jobs that contribute to creating a prosperous New Zealand."

The four public holidays over this year’s Christmas and New Year break include Christmas and Boxing Day on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December 2007, New Year’s Day Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd January 2008.

The statutory entitlements include:

• Employees who agree to work at businesses which open on any of these days are paid time and half for the hours worked on the day. In addition, if staff normally work Tuesdays or Wednesdays, they are entitled to an alternative paid day off.

• Businesses which annually close down over the Christmas and New Year break must give their employees at least 14 days notice of the closedown. Employees are entitled to take some, or all, of their annual leave over the closedown period.

• Public holidays which fall during this period are treated as a paid public holiday.

• If businesses close on the public holidays, staff which normally work Tuesdays or Wednesdays are entitled to a paid day of leave (not annual leave).

• Annual leave entitlement for permanent employees (if employed by the employer for 12 months) was raised to four weeks paid leave from 1 April 2007.
Full information on particular workplace situations is available at www.dol.govt.nz or from the Department of Labour’s contact centre on 0800 20 90 20. Help on calculating holiday pay and leave is also available online at www.dol.govt.nz/holidays-tool

ENDS

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