Two ANZAC Days?
There has been a great deal of interest recently in the impact of changes to the Holidays Act in relation to the observance of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day public holidays on the following Monday. This is currently an issue as ANZAC Day this year falls on Saturday 25 April.
Section 45A of the Holidays Act now reads as follows:
- For the purposes of this subpart, if Waitangi Day or ANZAC Day –
- falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, and the day would otherwise be a working day for the employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on that day;
- falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, and the date would not otherwise be a working day for the employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on the following Monday.
- To avoid doubt, this section does not entitle an employee to more than one public holiday for Waitangi Day or more than one public holiday for ANZAC Day.
What this means is that for employees who would not normally work on the Saturday, the public holiday will be treated as falling on the following Monday. For employees who would normally be working on the Saturday however, the public holiday must be treated as falling on that day.
The situation will be fairly straight forward for employers whose employees work Monday to Friday. In that situation, the following Monday 27 April is simply treated as a holiday (as is the case for Christmas Day for example).
Employers will have to carefully consider matters in situations where employees typically work on a Saturday however. In that situation, employers could have to work on the basis of employees working on two different public holidays depending on the days that they work or that the employer’s business is open. For employers who deal with staff on a roster basis working hours for various staff will have to be very carefully considered.
It is important to note that section 45A does not entitle an employee to more than one public holiday for Waitangi Day or ANZAC Day. That is, an employee who works on both Saturday 25 April 2015 and Monday 27 April 2015 is not entitled to claim the public holiday entitlements for both days.
In addition, businesses should be aware that the restriction on trading on ANZAC day only applies until 1:00 pm on ANZAC day itself.
Employers will need to ensure that their treatment of these days is correct. Saunders Robinson Brown is happy to assist with any queries you may have.