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Five things all employers should consider in early December

As the holiday season approaches, take some time to think about how you want to organise your business operations over the summer.

A bit of planning will ensure you get the paperwork right and avoid breaches of the Holidays Act 2003.

Taking time out over the summer? - You can have an “annual closedown” for your whole business or part of it but give employees at least 14 days’ notice in writing. You can ask staff to take their existing annual leave. If they don’t have leave left, they can take leave without pay or you can both agree to them taking annual leave in advance.

Need employees to work the public holidays? - The only way you can make employees work on a public holiday is if it falls on a day they normally work, and the requirement to work on the public holiday must be included in their employment agreement.

Know how much you need to pay them? - If the public holiday falls on the day they would normally work, you pay them time and a half for the time worked on the public holiday and give them a paid day off later. The paid day off must be given if they work for any time at all on the public holiday. If the holiday doesn’t fall on a day they normally work, you pay them time and a half.

Employees asking to cash up? - Staff can cash up up to one week of their minimum four weeks’ annual holidays in any entitlement year if you’re okay with it. If not, you must decline in writing (but you don’t have to give a reason).

Need to modify an employment agreement? - There are rules to follow, so head to Employment New Zealand or Wolters Kluwer's New Zealand Workforce Manager.

Confused about holiday pay calculations? Call us, we are here to help.


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