It is really quite interesting the fact that even though there is one piece of legislation covering the area or employee leave (Holiday Pay Act 2003) many of our clients all interpret it differently.
It’s not for us to say they must comply as at the day we will do as we are instructed but the main points of the Act state:
- If you work on a Public Holiday and that day that is your normal work day then you must be paid at the rate of Time & Half and you accrue an Alternative Day that you can take at a later date. If you are a Salaried employee and you work on a Public Holiday then you also get paid at Time & Half.
- If you don’t work on the Public Holiday and its your normal work day then you are paid for the day at your Relevant Daily Rate (what you would have got paid had you worked)
- If you work on a Public Holiday and it’s not your normal work day (casual employee or part-time employee) then you just get paid at the rate of Time & Half, there is no accrual of an Alternative Day.
The main issue we see occuring is when it comes to paying for the Alternative Day. The Act is quite specific that you are entitled to another Day off and makes no mention of the fact the hours you get paid for your Alternative Day has any connection to the actual number of hours you might have worked on the Public Holiday.
An example might explain this better. Say you work on a Public Holiday for as little as one hour. The Act requires that you get paid for the hour at Time & Half and in most cases you would get the balance of the day at your Relevant Daily Pay rate. You then agree to take your Alternative Day off on a day that you would normally work 10 hours, the Act states that you are entitled to be paid for 10 hours and not the one hour you actually worked on the Public Holiday.
I hope this makes sense. A document prepared by In-Sync Business Consulting on the topic can be downloaded here – Alternative Leave