The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Act or, as it is more commonly known, the ‘Mondayisation Bill’, will have its first big impact on Anzac Day.
Here are 10 simple things you can to do to make sure your business stays compliant:
Know what’s new. The ‘Mondayisation Bill’ states that from now on, when Waitangi Day (6 February) or Anzac Day (25 April) fall on a weekend, the public holiday must be treated as falling on the following Monday for employees who would not otherwise work on that Saturday or Sunday.
Know what stays the same. For employees who would normally otherwise work on that Saturday or Sunday, the public holiday must still be treated as falling on that day. If you close for the holiday, you must pay these weekend workers their regular holiday pay. If your business remains open for the holiday, employees are entitled to at least time and a half pay and a whole day’s alternative holiday (day in lieu) at a later date.
Get your ducks in a row. There isn’t much time to get ready. The Monday holiday will first be effective on Anzac Day 2015 and Waitangi Day in 2016.
Meet your holiday-entitlement obligations. If your employee works on a day that is designated as a public holiday for them (either the weekend day or the Monday, depending on their normal working days), they’ll receive time and a half for the hours worked and become entitled to an alternative holiday.
Mind your roster. If your employee normally works on the day the holiday falls on (for example, he or she is normally rostered to work every Saturday), you can’t take them off the roster for the holiday weekend in an attempt to get out of paying them holiday wages.
Don’t get caught out. Failure to recognise your employees' holiday entitlements, or taking employees off of the roster to avoid paying holiday pay, is a breach of the law. It may lead to enforcement action.
Update your files. After each public holiday you must update the leave records in your employees’ personnel files. Be sure to record when the holiday was taken, if and when a day in lieu (‘alternative holiday’) was taken, if any holiday pay was paid, and when this amount was paid to the employee.
Be mindful of commemorative celebrations. The celebration of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day (i.e., parades and other commemorative activities) will still occur on the actual holiday date. Keep in mind that it could be important to some of your employees to be able to attend these events.
Remember that you’ve already done this. Certain public holidays were already "Mondayised" under the Act. If Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day or 2 January fall on either a Saturday or Sunday (and that day would not otherwise be a working day), then those public holidays have always been treated as falling on the following Monday or Tuesday.
Don’t panic. This isn’t going to happen often. Waitangi and Anzac days only fall on a weekend about twice every seven years.