Ask any employer that needs to operate their business on a Public Holiday, and you can almost guarantee that at some point, a team member has come in to work their Public Holiday and have needed to finish early due to illness.

We know that ordinarily, an employee works a Public Holiday and are then entitled to time and a half for each hour worked, and an Alternative day off, so they can enjoy some down time at a later date.

But what if only part of the day is worked? How is this scenario managed?

To explain best practice, I am going to use the following scenario;

Joe Bloggs works Mon to Fri. Their employment agreement states they are required to work a Public Holiday that falls on any day Mon to Fri. There is no detail in the Individual Employment Agreement stating that partial sick days are allowed. Joe starts work at 8am, and by 12pm, Joe tells his manager they need to leave, as they are not feeling well.

Joe’s Sick leave management falls directly under the Holidays Act.

Because Sick Leave under the Holidays Act is a full day, not a part day, providing a half day sick does not fit with the requirements of the Holidays Act, and the employee would lose a full day of sick leave entitlement.

Therefore, the correct treatment will be;

Employee gets paid 1.5 x 4 hours, an alternative holiday for the public holiday worked, and 4 hours paid based on a Public Holiday Taken.

Providing a Public Holiday Taken because the employee was at work and then went home sick on a public holiday fits the theme of how other leave is not used on a public holiday, under the act.

In conclusion – a public holiday is a public holiday for an employee and any other type of leave provided under the holidays act is not applied on that day.

CooperAitken Payroll Division are operating at full capacity up to 21st December 2023 and at reduced hours across the Christmas and New Years period. You can send your Public Holiday queries to – we are happy to help.

Exciting news!! We have a brand new Agri-Compliance service. Checkbox helps alleviate the burden of on-farm compliance for Dairy Farmers.

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