Christmas and Essential HR Services

Essential Update – 14 November 2022


In this update:


The Fair Pay Agreements Act 2022 has now been passed as law

On the 1st November 2022, the Fair Pay Agreements bill received Royal Ascent, creating the Fair Pay Agreements Act 2022 – effective from 1 December.

We will not worry you with the final details of this bill at this stage, however, we promise to monitor applications under this Act and update you with any relevant information and guidance as it comes through.

If an application seems to cover all or some of your staff, we will work with you to manage the situation.  Let’s hope they don’t.  In the meantime, if you have any specific questions pertaining to your business and situation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Christmas is looming – Time to get your head around how to pay Stat Days and Annual Leave again

The Christmas season brings more complex payroll scenarios. Here are a few things you need to know and remember:

  1. Christmas Stat Days (and the same applies to New Years)
    Christmas Day and Boxing Day are on Sunday and Monday, this year. This means that, unless Sundays are a normal day of work for staff, the holiday gets Tuesday-ised (Boxing Day and the Day-After-New-Years are Monday as normal). Here are some scenarios and how your staff will need to be paid:

    1. Your employee works Monday-Friday – Christmas Day will be observed on Tuesday 27th and staff will have a paid day off for the Monday (Boxing Day), as it falls, and Tuesday (Christmas Day Observed). If staff work on these days, they must be paid time and a half as a minimum and be entitled to a full day in lieu.
    2. Your employee works Sunday-Thursday – Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be observed, and given as a paid day off, on the days they naturally fall. If staff work on these days, they must be paid as in (a).
    3. Your employee works Tuesday-Saturday – Christmas Day will be observed, and given as a paid day off, on Tuesday 27th. Boxing day will be observed on Monday 26th as normal and the staff member will not be paid for this day, as it is not a normal working day for them, unless it has been agreed to observe the Stat Day on an alternative day. Staff working on these days will be remunerated as in (a), except for the Monday where the staff member will not be entitled to a day in lieu.
  2. Close Down and Annual Leave Anniversary Dates
    As per the Holidays Act, where there is a Company enforced close-down period, any employee who has been working for the Company for less than 12 months, from the first day of close-down, should be paid out 8% of their gross earnings to the date of closedown (minus whatever you have paid them for leave taken in advance) in lieu of holiday pay. Their Annual Leave anniversary date will then become the date of the first day of close-down and their 12 months until Annual Leave entitlement will start again.

    In situations where you have staff who have been around for more than a year but this requirement has not been actioned in the past, the employee’s entitlement anniversary date in payroll must be changed to a date approximating the date of closedown. This may mean that you have not complied with the Holidays Act. If you have concerns about this, it is not urgent, but you should contact us in the New Year.

Get your HR support for a fixed cost monthly retainer – the latest from Essential HR

For the last 12 months, Jess and I have been working as a team of two in caring for your needs as our valued clients.   As part of this reduction in our advisory team, I have changed the structure of Essential HR’s operations. Most significantly, we are encouraging our regular clients to partner with us on a monthly retainer basis. Some of you we have already spoken with.

What does this mean? It means that those who take up this opportunity will have priority access to our services and assistance at a flat monthly fee (based on a discounted rate). The specific services provided and the cost to you for them will be customised individually, taking into account your business needs and size.

We are convinced that we can be more effective, more closely “be” your HR team and be more proactive, with regular scheduled meetings with Mike.  You will also gain priority access to our services and be able to accurately budget for your HR costs, rather than receiving surprises when issues arise.

Of course, we will still be able to provide advice and assistance on an ad-hoc, hourly rate basis, as we have always done before. But, while we always work hard to give responses and take action within short timeframes, we cannot guarantee that there will not be wait times going forward.

If, on the rare occasion, we are not able to assist you personally, we also have wonderful associates who we can refer you to, so please get in touch.

We recognise that there are other companies offering similar options and many of you may not have considered that we can as well. If you have been a client of ours in the past, or if you are considering us as an option for your HR needs, and if you are considering a closer relationship with an HR professional, please come and talk to us first to see what we can offer you.

Essential HR’s Christmas Closedown – A heads up

We know it is early, but please mark in your diaries that Essential HR will be closed from midday on Friday 23rd December and will reopen on Monday 9th January 2023.

While Mike will be on call for urgent matters, we will be enjoying a break and some family time so we will not be readily available during this time. We strongly encourage you to ensure that your needs are dealt with beforehand (preferably by Friday 16th December to allow some contingency time), or a plan is made for us to be in contact with you during our first week back.


Essential HR are here to help.  For ongoing help call us on – 03 3650532 (voice messages are automatically relayed to Mike), or you can contact Mike directly on 027 2808546 or

I’m happy for you to pass this on to others.

And if you need to conference call, we are all set up with Zoom.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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