As of 1 July 2011, employers must retain a signed copy of the employment agreement or the current signed terms and conditions of employment. The employer must retain the “intended agreement” even if the employee has not signed it. The employer must also provide a copy of the current terms and conditions if requested by the employee.
Employment agreements need to specifically provide that an employee will receive at least time and a half for working on a public holiday. Any such provision must be consistent with the Holidays Act 2003.
An employment agreement cannot specify that the rate of pay already includes a component for time and a half.
In most cases, what time and a half means will be easy to identify. For example, if the employee has regular hours each week and is paid an hourly rate and no additional payments, then under relevant daily pay they are entitled to one and a half times that rate for the time worked on a public holiday, as in the following clause:
“The pay rate for this position is $15 per hour. For time worked on a public holiday, the pay rate is $22.50 per hour (time and a half).
In other cases, there are a number of ways this can be done appropriately, depending on the wishes of the employer and employee. This may be a day rate, part-day rate or hourly rate.
The basis on which pay for work on a public holiday is calculated should ideally be included in the employee’s employment agreement, if the person is likely to work on a public holiday.
Where an employee’s pay varies within the pay period, an employer may use the employee’s average daily pay to calculate the payment for working on a public holiday.