The Herald reports:
A big union wants workers to be paid more if statutory holidays fall on a weekend.
This year, both Anzac and Waitangi Day fell on weekends, meaning workers missed out on penal rates and an extra day off work because those two statutory holidays aren’t “Mondayised” as all others are.
I have some sympathy for the notion of Mondayising Waitangi and ANZAC Days. However it would be preferable for changes to be made to the Holidays Act, rather than try to do so through wage rounds, because the whole idea of public holidays is that they are uniform.
Over a seven year cycle, it would result in an extra four days of public holidays, which would be an additional cost to business of 0.23%. And I suspect most businesses budget for 11 public holidays a year and don’t really gain much benefit from there only being 9 or 10 in some years.
Mr Newson said there was no argument about the sanctity of Waitangi Day or Anzac Day, but the union would like workers to be able to take all of the public holidays they were entitled to.
The Returned and Services Association has always opposed transferring to a Monday the observance of holidays such as Anzac Day that fall on a weekend, saying that to do so would miss the point of the day.
I think there is a sensible compromise here. Certanly ANZAC Day should always be celebrated on 25 April, but if that is a weekend, you also get the Monday off.
Think of Christmas. If 25 December falls on a Saturday, you get Monday 27 December off work also. However that does not mean you celebrate Christmas on 27 December – you still celebrate it on 25 December.