With Easter falling at the end of the month, it is time to consider what your obligations as an employer are should you be opening over the long weekend.
The two Public Holidays are Good Friday - 30 March and Easter Monday - 2 April.
For most businesses, Easter Weekend is a straight forward situation if you close for the long weekend. Your staff are entitled to be paid their relevant daily pay for Good Friday and Easter Monday, as if they had worked, provided these days are days they would normally work.
If you have rostered staff, whether or not they get paid for Good Friday and Easter Monday will depend on their roster cycle. If, for example, their roster cycle provides them a rostered day off every second Friday, and Good Friday falls in that second week of the roster, then they are not be paid for Good Friday, as they would not have been scheduled to work that day.
Similarly, if you and an employee have agreed that they can work their 40 hours over a four day week, being Monday to Thursday, then the employee is not paid for Good Friday, as it is not a day that they would normally work.
If you are going to be open for business, you will need to be aware of the local rules for working over Easter and also ensure you comply with the terms set out in your employment agreements with your staff. If you do not require your staff to be available to work public holidays, then you need to be aware that your staff do not have to agree to work. They cannot be penalised for not agreeing to work the Public Holiday.
If however you have required that they be available to work on Public Holidays, you must pay them in accordance with any agreed compensation for being available. As a minimum the Holidays Act 2003 will apply. This states that the employee is entitled to at least time and a half their relevant daily rate of pay for each hour that they work on the Public Holiday. If the Public Holiday is also a day they would normally work, the employee is entitled to an alternative days holiday.
When calculating pay for working on a Public Holiday, the Holidays Act provides that the employer must pay the employee the greater of:
the portion of the employee’s relevant daily pay or average daily pay (less any penal rates) that relates to the time actually worked on the day plus half that amount again; or
the portion of the employee’s relevant daily pay that relates to the time actually worked on the day, including any penal rates.
With regard to (1) above, the employer must work out the employee’s relevant daily pay for the time actually worked on the day (minus any penal rates) and then multiply this by one and a half. This figure must be compared to the employee’s relevant daily pay (including any penal rates) and the employer must pay the greater amount of these two amounts.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday (which is not a Public Holiday) are two days where there are restrictions on trading.
There are three types of shops which can open on restricted trading days:
Shops that can open with conditions and provided they meet certain conditions
Shops that can open because of an area exemption
Shops that can open on Easter Sunday because the local territorial authority has adopted a local Easter Sunday shop trading policy. Being able to open on Easter Sunday under a local territorial authority policy doesn’t mean a shop can open on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Anzac Day before 1pm.
You can check whether you are entitled to open on the Government's website and your local authority's website.
If you need assistance or advice about Public Holidays and how they relate to your business circumstances, contact Tony today for a free no obligation discussion.