Posted on: Apr 24, 2013
The Bill providing for public holidays on Mondays when Waitangi Day or ANZAC Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday —the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Bill the was passed on 17 April 2013. (It awaits assent.)
A Member’s Bill, it was not supported by the Government, but had support among other parties which enabled it to be passed by a narrow margin of 61 to 60 votes. Its proponents considered it anomalous that New Zealanders’ rights to 11 public holidays per year were compromised when these two holidays fell on a weekend.
As a result of this Bill, Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day are now treated the same as the Christmas and New Year public holidays. Ie, if Waitangi Day and/or ANZAC Day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, and the day would otherwise be a working day for an employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on that day. However, if the day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, and the day would not otherwise be a working day for an employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on the following Monday.
Interestingly, although this may seem like a major in terms of added costs to employers, it’s not likely to have a huge impact in the short term as the next of these holidays to fall on the weekend will be ANZAC Day in 2015. Following this, Waitangi Day will fall on the weekend in 2016, and then the next day will not be until 2020.
The dates on which Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day are currently celebrated will remain – parades and other commemorative celebrations will continue to be held on 6 February and 25 April each year.
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