Bay of Plenty Times 4th February 2011
With Waitangi Day falling on Sunday, thousands of Bay workers will gear up to face work on Monday but one Tauranga employer is urging local businesses to give their employees a day off. Workers face losing two public holidays this year – Waitangi Day falls on Sunday and Anzac Day coincides with Easter Monday, which meansmany Kiwi workers will miss out on having these days off. Graham Cameron, Merivale Community Centre services manager, said there did not have to be a piece of legislation enforcing the holiday and it was up to the “good-will” of employers to Monday-ise the appropriate days.
Advocacy group Family First said Monday-ising public holidays was good for families and supported Labour’s proposed law to Monday-ise Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. National director Bob McCoskrie said those who work on public holidays miss out on valuable family time. “Poll after poll has shown that both parents and children want to spend more time together doing family things like picnics and trips. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult as a number of industries, such as retail and service, are required to work almost every day of the year. Public holidays are traditions. They create rituals for families based on celebrating together, reconnecting, and making memories.” Mr McCoskrie said employers needed to get the work-life balance correct. He said employers budgeted for statutory holidays and the proposed law change would simply ensure the status quo.