Ōtautahi – The bill establishing Queen Elizabeth II memorial day has passed its third reading and is now law.
As Queen of Aotearoa New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication and public service. Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was a fondness that was shared, Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety Michael Wood says.
The passing of the Queen Elizabeth II memorial day bill designates September 26 as a one-off public holiday.
This holiday will allow New Zealanders to mark her life and passing and reflect on her legacy. Government expects many people will want the opportunity to pay their respects and this public holiday offers communities across the country the ability to come together and pay tribute at their own local events also.
The memorial day will coincide with a state memorial service, to be held in Wellington Cathedral. This will be televised and live-streamed. The decision to hold a one-off public holiday in the Queen’s honour is in line with similar holidays in the UK and Australia.
There will be no additional shop trading restrictions on Queen Elizabeth II memorial day public holiday and the normal rules apply for employees who work on a public holiday.
The most recent one-off public holiday was the Canterbury earthquake commemoration day on March 18, 2011. The public holiday was observed in parts of Canterbury that observe Canterbury anniversary day to commemorate the devastating consequences of the Canterbury earthquake and aftershock.
Normal public holiday requirements under the Holidays Act will apply including:
- If September 26 is an otherwise working day for an employee, they will be entitled to a paid day off work
- If September 26 is an otherwise working day and the employee works, they are entitled to be paid time and a half and receive an alternative holiday
- All employees who work on September 26must be paid time and a half
- An employer can only require an employee to work on September 26 if that Monday is a day they would usually work and it is written in their employment agreement that the employee can be required to work on public holidays
- Otherwise, employers can ask employees to work on September 26 but they do not have to agree.