Skip to main content
Note:

For everything you need to know about COVID-19, go to covid19.govt.nz

Unite against COVID-19

Working on public holidays

If you work on a public holiday that falls on a day you would normally work, you will be paid at least time and a half, and get a day in lieu (alternative holiday).

When a public holiday falls on a day you usually work

You’re entitled to a day in lieu (alternative holiday). You do not have to take annual leave and it does not matter how long you’ve been with the company or how many hours you work. A day in lieu is a paid day off you can take later.

If you choose to work on a public holiday

If you choose to work on a public holiday and it’s a day you usually work, you’ll:

  • be paid at least time and a half (1.5 times for the hours worked on that public holiday), and
  • get a day in lieu (alternative holiday) to take later, even if you’ve only worked part of a shift.

Days in lieu (alternative holidays)

If it’s not a day you’d usually work, you’ll just be paid time and a half.

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

You need to talk to your employer and agree together if it’s a day you would usually work.

The Employment NZ website explains what you and your employer must consider.

Otherwise working day

When you can be made to work

Your employer can only make you work on a public holiday if:

  • your employment agreement says you have to work on that public holiday, and
  • it falls on a day you usually work.

If you only work on public holidays, you’ll be paid at least time and a half but you do not get a day in lieu (an alternative holiday).

Contracting and working for yourself

If you’re self-employed or contracting, you’re not entitled to paid days off or time and a half on public holidays — this is only for employees. If you choose to work, you’ll only be paid your usual rate for the day and you will not get a day in lieu (alternative holiday).

If you work shifts

If your shift falls on a public holiday and you work, you’ll be paid time and a half. You may also get a day in lieu (alternative holiday).

Shift workers and public holidays

If you’re on call

What you get for being on call on a public holiday depends on your contract.

Employees working shifts or on call

If you’re sick on a public holiday

If you were meant to work on a public holiday but were sick, you can still get paid.

What you get paid while you’re on sick leave

Public holiday dates in NZ

Public holidays and anniversary dates

Have your say about this page

Is there something wrong with this page?

Last Updated

Page last updated: