Staff taking advantage of Easter holiday loophole

Public holidays for Easter and Anzac Day this year means that workers only have to take next Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday off to have 10 straight days of holiday. Photo: RNZ

Some employees are making the most of an Easter holiday loophole that will see them with 10 days off work, but others say they'll be the ones picking up the slack.

Public holidays for Easter and Anzac Day this year means that workers only have to take next Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday off to have ten straight days of holiday.

For Matthew Lee, who works at ASB in Auckland, that is definitely something he has taken advantage of.

"Most of my team are also doing the same thing, the only person who actually isn't is my manager and the reason for that is just because she actually doesn't have any leave," he says.

"She's just come back from Japan but I'm sure if she could she probably would."

It will also be a much-needed break for Jow Vunitali who is flying to Fiji.

"I work six days a week, 10-12 hours a day sometimes it depends," he says.

"So yeah I'm looking forward [to] a break and spending time with some of my family."

But chances are, if people have not got your leave application already, they will probably miss out.

For Oscar Nielsen, he will be working throughout the holiday period.

"My supervisors have asked for holidays so I have to work the floor over that period so they can have a break," he says.

"I've got five people on leave so I'll have to work through."

Unite union says it was difficult for employees in fast food restaurants or cinemas to get time off during public holidays.

National director Mike Treen says some workers had it written in their contracts that they were expected to work.

"What are breaks for other people are often the important [and] busier periods for some of these sectors," he says.

But at least one business says people should take the time off to focus on their wellbeing.

Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr says that was something the company was telling its workers and he was all for it.

"We're not going to shut down so there will be skeleton crew but if you can take the days then in terms of wellbeing, taking a couple of days off and getting a week is fantastic," he says.

Jarrod did not think there would be too huge of an impact on businesses.

"They'll be well aware of what's coming and if you're working in town maybe it will be a quiet few days but businesses face these sorts of seasonal challenges all the time so I don't think it's anything to be overly worried about," he says.

-RNZ/Jessie Chiang




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