Today, NZPFU’s lawyers filed an application challenging FENZ’s interpretation of “relevant daily pay” for the purposes of public holiday payments.
The Holidays’ Act provides that an employer must pay an employee at least time and a half for working on a public holiday. Currently a Firefighter or Officer is paid overtime (time and a half) when working overtime but if they are working that overtime on a public holiday they are still only receiving time and a half in total. Therefore a firefighter working overtime does not receive any additional payment for working on a public holiday than they would for working overtime on any other day.
The NZPFU contends that the correct calculation is to identify the relevant daily pay (being the rate they are being paid to work that shift which is the overtime rate if working overtime) and then multiply that by 1.5 when the overtime shift is being worked on a public holiday.
There is a historical context to this issue as the rate for overtime has changed over the term of the collective agreement to reach an overtime rate of 1.5 hours.
We have raised this matter previously with FENZ but have not reached a resolution.
The matter has been filed in the Employment Relations Authority.
We will keep members informed.