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Your Obligations When it Comes to Paid Leave

Your Obligations When it Comes to Paid Leave

As much as we want to believe that our staff would never want to be anywhere but our salon, fact is, they need – and deserve – a break. But the waters can get quite murky when it comes to knowing what employees rights – and business owners’ obligations – are when it comes to leave.

Holidays and leave at a glance

All employees working in New Zealand are legally covered by the Holidays Act (2003). The Act requires that:

  • as an employer, you keep accurate records for all employees of the hours worked each day in a pay period and the pay for those hours, and leave accrued, entitled leave and leave taken
  • all employees can take annual leave (depending how long they’ve worked for you)
  • all employees are given sick leave and bereavement leave
  • all employees get paid leave on public holidays, if they would normally work on that day.

Annual leave

All employees are entitled to at least four weeks of paid annual holidays. This doesn’t include public holidays or sick leave.

Paying employees for leave

With the right systems in place, you shouldn’t have too much trouble working out what to pay your employees when they take leave. It’s important to:

  • Keep all wage and time records and holiday and leave records up-to-date and accurate.
  • Get your calculations right, use Employment New Zealand’s Holiday tool(external link)
  • Understand what your employees are entitled to — especially those who work irregular or part-time hours.

Public holidays

When a public holiday falls on a day your employee would usually work, they’re entitled to a paid day off, no matter how long they’ve been working for you. If they agree to work anyway, you must:

  • pay them at least time and a half
  • give them another paid day off later (a day in lieu).

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