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What you’ll be paid while you’re on annual leave

Your employment agreement tells you when you get paid for time off and how your pay is worked out.

COVID-19: Employment NZ has guidance on work-related issues. 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the workplace

How much you’ll get paid

While you’re on annual leave, you’re paid:

  • your normal weekly pay, or
  • the average you’ve earned a week over the 12 months before your holiday.

You have to be paid whichever amount is higher.

Example

You work part time. Your regular days of work are Tuesday and Wednesday, but you often pick up weekend shifts when they’re available.

If you take a week off, you’ll be paid the average amount you’ve earned a week over the last 12 months — because that amount will be more than what you’d get for your regular hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Employment New Zealand website has a chart to help you and your employer decide if you should be paid your ordinary weekly pay or average weekly earnings.

Calculating annual holiday payment rates

If you take leave in advance​

What you’re paid depends on how long you’ve been working for the same employer.

​If you’ve been in the job for less than 12 months

You get paid whichever is greater:

  • your ordinary weekly pay (at the beginning of the annual holiday), or
  • your average weekly earnings since starting the job.

You may also be able to take unpaid leave.

Unpaid leave

​If you’ve been in the job for more than 12 months

You get paid whichever is greater:

  • your ordinary weekly pay, or
  • your average weekly earnings for the 12 months leading up to your holiday.

You should be paid at the beginning of the your holiday.

If you’ve been on parental leave in the last 12 months

Your payments for annual leave are affected in the 12 months after you return to work.

They’re also affected if your work anniversary happens:

  • when you’re on parental leave
  • when you’re in a period of preference — a 26-week period where if your employer offers a job that is very similar to yours, they must offer it to you first.

Protecting your job during pregnancy or parental leave

Your annual leave payments are based on your average weekly earnings over the last 12 months — including the time you were not earning.

Example

You’re on parental leave from 1 March to 1 September. When you get back to work, you decide to take a holiday on 20 November. Your last pay period is from 1 to 14 November.

Your average weekly earnings are worked out using the 12 months leading up to 14 November— the end of your last pay period. The 12 months includes the months you were not earning, so your average earnings are less than usual.

When you’ll get paid

Your employment agreement tells you when you’ll get paid for time off — you might not need to wait for your regular payday.

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