This year both Waitangi Day and Anzac Day were observed on Monday for most people – even though Waitangi Day actually fell on a Saturday.
This came about froma change made to the Holidays Act in 2014, which specified that both those public holidays would be “Mondayised”. (I’m not sure you’ll find that term in the dictionary, but it works.)
Obviously, this is great for the majority of people who work from Monday to Friday. It means you get the odd extra-long weekend during the warmer weather.
But how do Mondayised public holidays actually work? And how do you work out what you should get paid for them?
WHAT NORMALLY HAPPENS
You are entitled to be paid for public holidays if they fall on days of the week that you would have otherwise worked. You also get paid for them if, despite you not usually working on that day of the week, you end up actually working.
The amount you get paid is determined by whether you actually work on the day and whether it was a day you would have otherwise worked, had it not been a public holiday.
Here’s a quick summary of what you should get paid based on those factors:
- If you normally work that day but you don’t have to work, then you get paid what you normally would have received had you gone to work.
- If you don’t normally work that day and you don’t have to work, then you don’t get paid anything because you wouldn’t have gone to work in any case.
- If you normally work that day but you do have to work, then you get paid time and a half for the hours you work, and you get a day in lieu.
- If you don’t normally work that day and do have to work, you get paid time and a half for the hours you work but you don’t get a day in lieu.
WHEN THE HOLIDAY IS OBSERVED ON A MONDAY
The concept of “Mondayising” holidays is to shift the observance of the holiday that may occur on a weekend to the next Monday for anyone who would not normally get the benefit of the holiday because they don’t work on the weekend.
In those cases, the law treats the Monday observance as the actual holiday, instead of the day that would normally be regarded as the holiday.
But, and here’s the key, it only gets shifted to Monday for those workers who would not normally work on the weekend.In other words, for those who normally work on the weekend, the public holiday is on the Saturday or Sunday.
But for those who don’t normally work on the weekend, the public holiday is the Monday.
Perhaps an example will help.
Let’s imagine two retail workers, Tim and Sharon.
Tim works just Saturdays and Mondays, but Sharon typically works Monday to Friday.If Anzac Day falls on Saturday, what happens?Both Tim and Sharon get the benefit of the public holiday.
For Tim the public holiday is on Saturday, so he gets paid time and a half, and receives a day in lieu for working that day. Yet Sharon gets the same if she works on Monday.
There are a couple of odd results in this scenario:
- Sharon and Tim worked on different days but are both treated as having worked the same public holiday.
- If Sharon and Tim both work on Monday, they get paid differently for that day – Sharon gets paid time and a half, and receives a day in lieu, but Tim just gets paid as if it were not a public holiday.
The key is not to be thrown by these strange results. Remember that what you get paid, and for what day, is determined by whether you normally work on weekends or not.
Increasing the number of Mondayised public holidays is great overall, as it means more time off work for the majority of workers who work Monday to Friday.
However, it can lead to some strange results when two workers work different days but are treated as working the same public holiday, or work the same day but get paid differently.
The key is to remember that the Monday is treated as a public holiday only if you would not normally work on the weekend.
If that’s you, I hope you enjoy the extra long weekends.