POSTED: 21st December 2011

Christmas and New Year 2011/2012

If one of the Christmas or New Year public holidays falls on a Sunday and the employee does not usually work on a Sunday, then that public holiday will be observed on the following Tuesday for that employee.  This can mean that the holidays fall on different days for employees who have different work schedules.

For clarification:

The Public Holidays are:

Sunday 25th December 2011 – Christmas Day

Monday 26th December – Boxing Day

Sunday 1st January 2012 – New Year’s Day

Monday 2nd January – the day after New Year’s Day


The Public Holidays are observed as follows:

Christmas Day (Sunday 25th December) is observed on either Sunday 25th December (if the employee usually works on Sunday) OR Tuesday 27th December (if the employee does not usually work on Sunday)

Boxing Day (Monday 26th December) is observed on Monday 26th December

New Year’s Day (Sunday 1st January) is observed on either Sunday 1st January (if the employee usually works on Sunday) OR Tuesday 3rd January (if the employee does not usually work on Sunday)

Day after New Year’s Day (Monday 2nd January) is observed on Monday 2nd January


Public Holidays during Closedowns

Entitlements to public holidays that fall during a closedown period are clarified in the Holidays Amendment Act 2010.

If a business has a closedown period that includes public holidays (as can occur over the Christmas and New Year period) then the employee is entitled to paid public holidays if they would otherwise be working days for them, as if the closedown was not in effect.

Just as if a public holiday falls during a period of annual holidays, the employee is entitled to a paid public holiday if it is otherwise a working day for them.


Payment for Public Holidays

Relevant Daily Pay

To calculate the employee’s pay entitlements for public holidays, alternative holidays, bereavement leave and sick leave, relevant daily pay is used.

By law, the employer pays what the employee would have received had the employee worked on the day of the concerned, including payments for any overtime and any commission and productivity based pay.  Employer contributions to a Superannuation scheme are excluded.

If it’s not practicable or possible to determine relevant daily pay or if the pay for the employee varies within the pay period, the employer must use the “average daily pay” calculation below.

Average Daily Pay

To calculate average daily pay, take the gross earnings for the previous 52 weeks divided by the number of days for which the employee was paid during that period.


This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.