Holidays and leave
The Holidays Act 2003 helps to promote balance between work and other aspects of employees’ lives. It was amended by the Holidays (Transfer of Public Holidays) Amendment Act 2008 and the Holidays Amendment Act 2010. This guide includes those changes.
The Holidays Act 2003 provides minimum legal entitlements to:
We discuss holiday and leave entitlements and how to calculate payments correctly. If you need more information about any matter, please contact the Department of Labour or freephone 0800 20 90 20.
More information about the changes to the laws on employment relations and holidays from the 2010 Amendment Acts can be found in “Changes to laws on employment relations and holidays”.
Principles underpinning the Holidays Act
New Zealand law on holidays and leave has been based on three key concepts:
- For the purposes of rest and recreation, all employees are entitled to enjoy four weeks’ paid annual holidays (or “annual leave”) each year.
- Public holidays are for the observance of days of national, religious, or cultural significance, which all employees should be entitled to take as leave, where possible. Where it is necessary for an employee to work on a public holiday that work should be specially rewarded.
- The employment relationship is both financial and human. Therefore, after a period of employment, it is reasonable to expect that employers will support employees with sick leave and bereavement leave when required.
The Holidays Act 2003 reinforces these principles by balancing fairness between employers and employees, and recognising that, in some areas, existing arrangements may meet these principles.
Payment for other holidays and leave
For public holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave and bereavement leave an employee is entitled to be paid either their relevant daily pay or average daily pay.