Statutory holidays pay cleared up

Farmer Freddy is confused over statutory holiday pay, however Pebbles sorts it all out.

Freddy is feeling stressed. His worker, George, has complained that Freddy didn't pay him correctly for his work over the Christmas-New Year holiday period. So, armed with a pile of time sheets, Freddy goes to consult Peebles.

"Pebbles," he tells her, "George wants to be paid time and a half for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the Monday and Tuesday following and the same for the four days at New Year. That can't be right, can it? I need to get this sorted because my five-week roster system means that workers are rostered on some Saturdays but not others."

"Don't panic Dad," Pebbles tells him. "The law around holiday pay for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and January 2 is a bit tricky, especially when they fall on Saturday and Sunday. But we can sort it out once we see what days he did work."

The law allows a transfer of the Christmas and New Year public holidays so that, in effect, all employees should get Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and January 2 recognised.

Coincidentally, this only occurs when Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and January 2 fall on Saturdays or Sundays.

The law requires employers to recognise Christmas Day and Boxing Day and January 1 and 2 as the actual days they fall if employees works on those days.

"But Pebbles," asks Freddy, "my workers are rostered so they work different days in any week over a five week roster. Do I have to pay all my workers for all those holidays?" asks Freddy.

"No, Dad," Pebbles reassures him. "You only have to pay them if they are rostered to work or would normally be rostered to work on the specific holiday. What and how they get paid depends on whether they actually work on the particular public holiday in question".

"So, getting back to George," says Freddy, "He worked Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, the second of January and the Mondays and Tuesdays following these public holidays. What do I have to pay him?"

"Well, Dad," says Pebbles, "the Holidays Act is clear that only four of those eight days are recognised as public holidays. The act is also clear that if an employee works on the holiday proper (ie, the actual day it falls on rather than the transferred day), then that is the day that is recognised. It cannot be transferred to the Monday or Tuesday."

"So," Pebbles continues, "George must be paid time and one half for those Saturdays and Sundays (the public holidays proper), and ordinary time for the Mondays and Tuesdays.

Plus, he gets four alternative paid days off at some other time for working on those Saturdays and Sundays."

"Well, that's a relief" says Freddy. "I only have to pay George time and a half for four days, not eight! I think I need a cup of tea and a lie down."


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