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Public holidays--know your entitlements.

With a number of public holidays coming up, now is a good time to make sure you are clear on what you should be getting if you work on a holiday. Everyone who works on a public holiday is entitled to payment of at least time and a hail--this means a minimum of your usual hourly rate and an additional half of that rate again. For example, if your hourly rate is $13 per hour you would be entitled to $13 + $6.50 = $19.50 per hour for every hour worked. If your employment agreement provides a better penal rate or public holiday rate, then the employment agreement applies.

If you work on a public holiday (or any part of the public holiday) and it is your usual day to work, you are entitled to an alternative holiday or a "lieu day" The question you need to ask is: "Would I have worked on that day anyway?" If a public holiday is a day you would have usually worked and you do work on that day (or on any part of that day), then you are entitled to an alternative paid day off. If you work on a public holiday and it isn't a day you would usually work, then you are not entitled to an alternative paid day off. It would pay to check your employment agreement, as it may contain other provisions. If you are uncertain as to what constitutes 'a usual day of work', contact your NZNO organiser.

The public holidays coming up are: Christmas Day (Sunday, December 25), Boxing Day (Monday, December 26), New Year's Day (Sunday, January 1, 2012) and the day after (Monday, January 2, 2012). The two public holidays which fall on a Sunday (December 25 and January 1, 2012) are this year observed on the Tuesday for those workers for whom Sunday is not their usual day of work. For those workers for whom Sunday is their usual day of work, the public holidays will be observed on that day. Those employees for whom the Sunday, Monday and the Tuesday would usually be working days will be entitled, if working those days, to time-and-a-hail (or any additional rate as may be provided by the employment agreement) and a lieu day for the Sunday and Monday. Tuesday will be treated as an ordinary day.

Those employees who do not work on the public holidays are entitled to be paid for the day, provided such day is a usual day of work.

If you have any problems with your employer not paying you what you are entitled to, contact your NZNO delegate, your local NZNO office or the Department of labour Contact Centre 0800 20 90 20. A labour inspector can be sent to your worksite if your employer is not complying with the taw.

Check out this website for more information: www.ers.dot.govt.nz/holidays_act_2003/public_holidays.html.

By NZNO campaigns adviser Huia Welton

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Title Annotation:SECTOR REPORTS
Author:Welton, Huia
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2011
Words:495
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