COVID-19 UPDATE – STATUTORY HOLIDAY EASTER ENTITLEMENTS IN LIGHT OF COVID-19

7 April 2020 – Upcoming Statutory Holidays for Easter: Easter COVID-19 Arrangements Alert

Due to COVID-19, some employers have had to make changes by agreement with their staff. Below we have outlined how to figure out what your employees are owed for the upcoming statutory holidays.

Step 1: Is the employee working during the lockdown at all?

If yes, proceed to step 2.

If no, proceed to step 4.

Step 2: Is the employee working on Good Friday and/or Easter Monday?

If yes, proceed to step 3.

If no, and the employee is working during the lockdown, the employee should be paid for the Good Friday and/or Easter Monday as a public holiday if those days of the week are usually worked by the employee. Note if this is the case for the employee and the employee is on reduced hours during the lockdown, they should only be paid for the public holiday(s) at the reduced hours (For example if the hours are temporarily reduced by agreement from 40 per week to 30  on the basis of working 6, as opposed to 8, hour days Monday – Friday the employee will be paid for 6 hours for the Good Friday not 8).

Step 3: Is the employee that is working on Good Friday and/or Easter Monday on a reduced rate of pay temporarily during the lockdown?

If yes, then the employee will be paid at their reduced rate multiplied by 1.5 for the hours worked and given an extra day in lieu if eligible.

If no, then the employee will be paid at their usual rate multiplied by 1.5 for the hours worked and given an extra day in lieu if eligible (i.e. the situation is the same as if the lockdown had not occurred and the employee worked on the public holiday).

Note the employee is “eligible” for an extra day in lieu if they usually work on the day of the week the public holiday falls on. E.g. If the employee usually works Fridays and Mondays, and works both Good Friday and Easter Monday, the employee should be provided two days in lieu.

Step 4: Is the non-working employee being paid at all during the lockdown (including subsidy)?

If yes, proceed to step 5.

If no, then the employer is not required to pay the employee for Good Friday and Easter Monday as they would not otherwise be working days for that employee.

Step 5: Is the non-working employee being paid at an agreed reduced rate and if so, is that reduced rate just the subsidy, a top up over and above the subsidy to a certain percentage or a certain percentage with no subsidy?

If the employee is only being paid the subsidy, then the employer must continue to pay the subsidy as normal. The employee will not be entitled to extra pay for the public holidays over and above the subsidy (i.e. the employee’s relevant daily pay is the subsidy).

If the employee is being paid the subsidy plus a top up (i.e. a top up to a percentage of their pay over and above the subsidy) or a certain percentage of their pay (i.e. a percentage of their pay but employer is not eligible for the subsidy), proceed to step 6.

Step 6: Does the non-working employee being paid the subsidy plus a top up or a certain percentage of their wage usually work on Fridays and/or Mondays?

If yes, then the employee should be paid at their top up/percentage rate i.e. they are paid as they have been over the lockdown including for Good Friday and Easter Monday, which should be treated as a paid public holiday(s). Note if an employee is topping up the subsidy to a certain percentage with their annual leave, the top up should be treated as a public holiday entitlement rather than deducting from the employee’s annual leave entitlement.

If no, (for example if the employee ordinarily works Tuesday – Thursday inclusive), then it is not an otherwise working day for the employee and they would not be entitled to public holiday pay for these days.

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