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Days in lieu (alternative holidays)

If you work on a public holiday and it’s a day you usually work, you’ll get a paid day off you can take later. This is usually called a day in lieu or an alternative holiday.

You get a full day off

You get a full day off, no matter how many hours you work. This includes if you:

  • only work part of a shift, for example you only work 2 hours when you usually work more
  • are on call and you’re either:
    • called in, or
    • did not get a proper day off, for example you could not travel away or you had to check your email regularly.

When you do not get a day in lieu

You do not get a day in lieu (alternative holiday) if you:

  • would not usually work that day
  • only work on public holidays
  • are on call but did not have to do anything and being on call did not stop you doing what you wanted to do with your day.

If it’s not clear you would usually work that day

You need to talk to your employer, and agree together if its a day you’d usually work. The Employment NZ website explains what you and your employer must consider.

Otherwise working day

How to take your day in lieu

You need to talk to your manager and agree on a day. You can choose when you want to take your day in lieu (alternative holiday), but it needs to be taken on a day you’d usually work.

If you cannot agree on a day, your employer can choose one for you, but they have to tell you at least 14 days before the day. They cannot take your day in lieu (alternative holiday) away.

If you do not want to take your day in lieu

As long as your employer agrees, you can swap your day in lieu (alternative holiday) for an extra days pay if you have not taken it within 12 months.

If your employer does not agree they can choose which day you take off, but they have to tell you at least 14 days before the day.

How much you get paid

Youll usually be paid your normal rate for your day in lieu (alternative holiday).

Alternative holidays

Pay for public holidays, sick and bereavement leave and alternative holidays

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