Navigating public holiday pays
Public holidays and payroll can be a tricky combo – but this guide will change that in a flash. Find out everything you need to know to prepare your payroll for upcoming public holidays.
In this guide:
when to observe a public holiday if it falls on a weekend, and
how to calculate public holiday pay.
NZ public holidays to put in your calendar
Observation dates & Mondayisation
Before you can calculate public holiday pay, it’s important to figure out which day your employee should observe the public holiday.
How do I know which day my employee should observe the public holiday?
If the public holiday falls on a weekday, nothing changes and the holiday is observed on this day.
If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the public holiday is moved to the following Monday (or in some cases Tuesday if there are two consecutive holidays). This is known as Mondayisation.
The only exceptions to this rule are:
if a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and this is an otherwise working day for an employee, or
if a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and both the weekend date and the following Monday are otherwise working days for an employee.
In both of these cases, the employee should take the original weekend date as their public holiday.
You can check out Employment NZ’s Mondayisation Flowchart for help determining which date your employees should observe the public holiday.
Calculating public holiday pay
How much you pay your employees for public holidays depends on whether they work that day AND whether it’s an otherwise working day.
What do I do if my employee works on a public holiday?
If any of your employees work on a public holiday, you are legally required to pay them at ‘time and a half’ or 1.5 times their standard rate for this day.
If you’re with Thankyou Payroll, you would record this as ‘Public Holiday wrkd’ in their timesheet and the calculations will be made automatically for you.
If the public holiday is an otherwise working day, you also need to allocate a day of alternative leave to their leave balance.
What do I do if my employee takes a public holiday off?
This one’s easy. If the public holiday is an otherwise working day, simply pay your employee at their usual rate for that day.
If you’re with Thankyou Payroll, you would record this as ‘Public Holiday off’ in their timesheet and the calculations will be made automatically for you.
If the public holiday is not an otherwise working day for your employee, you do not need to do anything.
NZ public holidays
Here is a list of the public holidays in Aotearoa New Zealand. Click a holiday to find out the actual and observed date.
New Years Day
Actual date: 1st January
Observed date: Monday 1st January 2024
Day After New Years Day
Actual date: 2nd January
Observed date: Tuesday 2nd January 2024
Actual date: 6th February
Observed date: Tuesday 6th February 2024
Actual date: Varies
Observed date: Friday 29th March 2024
Actual date: Varies
Observed date: Monday 1st April 2024
Actual date: 25th April
Observed date: Thursday 25th April 2024
Actual date: 1st Monday in June
Observed date: Monday 3rd June 2024
Actual date: Varies
Observed date: Friday 28th June 2024
Actual date: 4th Monday in October
Observed date: Monday 28th October 2024
Actual date: 25th December
Observed date: Wednesday 25th December 2024
Actual date: 26th December
Observed date: Thursday 26th December 2024
Auckland: AD – 29th January, OD – Monday 29th January 2024
Taranaki: AD – 31st March, OD – Monday 11th March 2024
Hawkes Bay: AD – 1st November, OD – Friday 25th October 2024
Wellington: AD – 22nd January, OD – Monday 22nd January 2024
Marlborough: AD – 1st November, OD – Monday 4th November 2024
Nelson: AD – 1st February, OD – Monday 29th January 2024
Canterbury: AD – 16th December, OD – Friday 15th November 2024
Canterbury (South): AD – 16th December, OD – Monday 23rd September 2024
Westland: AD – 1st December, OD – Monday 2nd December 2024
Otago: AD – 23rd March, OD – Monday 25th March 2024
Southland: AD – 17th January, OD – Tuesday 2nd April 2024
Chatham Islands: AD – 30th November, OD – Monday 2nd December 2024
Download Public Holidays Guide
Download our Public Holidays PDF Guide for a more detailed breakdown of the tasks you need to complete to prepare your payroll for a public holiday.
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