New Zealand: Happy holidays: the ‘Mondayisation’ of public holidays

Last Updated: 19 June 2013

By Tim Oldfield

As published in NZLawyer magazine

With effect from 1 December 2004, section 4(1A) of the Employment Relations Act 2000 was inserted, which added further guidance to the duty of good faith. Many commentators asked at the time whether you could, or should, legislate a relationship in this way.

Bearing in mind work is where most of us spend the most significant portion of our waking hours, it is not surprising that employment, and changes to employment laws, can have a big impact on our daily lives.

Employment and employment laws are inherently about relationships and managing those relationships to achieve business success. Of course, the legislation of relationships in a different sense has attracted huge media attention with the passage of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, which received royal assent on 19 April 2013. This legislation allows same sex marriage and dominated media coverage of Parliament for some time. Indeed that change largely overshadowed another important employment law change.

The same day the marriage legislation received royal assent, important employment law legislation received the same treatment. The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Act 2013, provides for Anzac Day and Waitangi Day to be shifted to the following Monday if those public holidays fell on a weekend.

This "Mondayisation" already happens for the Christmas public holidays, but there was significant debate about whether it was appropriate to "Mondayise" holidays of national significance. Anzac Day and Waitangi Day were always observed on the days on which they fell, even if this occurred during the weekend, as they were considered to be sacred days in our national psyche. Employers were also concerned about the potential cost of the reforms. On the other hand, the status quo meant that most Monday to Friday workers missed out on a day off where the public holidays fell on a weekend, which happened every few years. It won't happen again until 2015.

Labour MP David Clark introduced a private member's bill to address the situation. While National did not support the Bill, it did not use its veto powers to prevent the Bill from passing with majority support, in spite of a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimate that the Bill would cost up to $200 million for each of the relevant public holidays.

The Government has the power, given by the House's Standing Orders, to veto any bill that would have a major impact on the Government's budget and expenditure plans. While the Government did not veto the "Mondayisation" Bill, it looks like it will use its power to veto a bill proposing to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 26 weeks. So, once again, employment law is a significant source of controversy in our corridors of power.

The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Act comes into force on 1 January 2014. If one of those holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday and the employee normally works on the day, the holiday will be observed on the day it actually falls. If, however, the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and the employee does not normally work on that day, the holiday is transferred to the following Monday. Of course, the hapless Tuesday to Friday worker continues to miss out.

The courts have also been busy when it comes to making decisions about public holidays. On 13 March 2013 the Supreme Court issued a decision refusing leave to an employer to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal which held that unrostered overtime could be taken into account as part of "relevant daily pay" for the purposes of the Holidays Act 2003.

In Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa Incorporated v New Zealand Post Limited [2012] NZCA 481, the Court of Appeal was satisfied that the Employment Court erred in concluding there was an onus on the employee to establish the pay he or she would otherwise have received on the day in question. Rather, the onus fell on the employer to meet the statutory obligation to pay the minimum entitlement on the day in question.

The Court of Appeal concluded that interpreted in accordance with the purpose of the Holidays Act 2003, section 9 of that Act required the employer first to establish or attempt to establish the amount of unrostered overtime that would otherwise have been received by the employee under section 9(l)(b)(ii). If that were not possible, then the employer was obliged to apply the averaging formula under section 9(3).

This decision was a culmination of a long running legal battle. It will result in higher payments for public holidays for employees who work overtime and increased costs for employers who have employees regularly working overtime. Taken with the recent "Mondayisation" legislation, workers' public holiday rights have certainly been enhanced.

Of course, if you regularly work overtime, work from Monday to Friday and wish to marry your same sex partner, then all your Christmases have come at once (no public holiday pun intended)!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions