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Notice Periods for a Festive Season Close Down

Published November 07, 2017 (last updated December 2, 2020) -

Taking time over the Christmas and New Year period is a great way to relax and step back from the business, and to spend time with friends and family. However, before employers rush off to relax someone must tell the employees. Across New Zealand there is a minimum notice period of 14 days for a close down.

Employees entitled to annual holidays

During a close down period, employees entitled to annual holidays must stop work and use as much of their leave needed to cover the period. This includes those employees with a zero leave balance. For employees with not enough leave to cover the period, they can take leave without pay or, after agreement with the employer, may take annual leave in advance.

Employees not entitled to annual holidays

Not working for the employer for 12 continuous months or receiving pay for annual holidays on a pay as you go basis are two reasons an employee will not be entitled to annual holidays. For these employees, there are special provisions for a close down period. There are a number of different scenarios but in most cases these employees will need to be paid 8% of their gross earnings or the employee may work out an arrangement to take annual holidays in advance.

What should employers do now?

At this point in time, employers should be deciding which dates to close down, if at all, and advising employees of these dates. Best practice states this type of notice should be in writing, and should outline who employees can approach if they have questions. Employers should also be looking at which of their employees are to be paid holidays and how much, as well as how to manage those employees not entitled to annual holidays.

For advice on how to manage a close down period, employers should call Employsure on 0800 568 012.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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