Tuesday, 20 April 2010

we really need our holidays...

this year we're losing two public holidays, because ANZAC day & waitangi day fall on a weekend. next year we have the same. it's not like we have a whole heap of public holidays here, that we can afford to give two away every seven years.

in australia, they always get the long weekend off for anzac day. i can't see why we shouldn't as well. whether it's a day where you commemorate those who fought, or a day when you think about the futility of war and the sad loss of life, or even a day when you go shopping or laze around at the beach, it should be a specific work holiday.

so how come everyone just seems to silently accept the current situation? i think it's time to start a movement to ensure our public holidays are exactly that. with, of course, thoughts going out to those self-employed and employees who have to work on public holidays.

5 comments:

kitsuchi said...

As someone on a casual contract at one job, and a part-time job somewhere else where my only specific work day is a Saturday, it was actually a real novelty during the last Christmas holidays to get a public holiday. So I don't have a problem with it, because it doesn't seem fair to me that people who work weekends don't get those as public holidays.

Kat said...

I don't agree Kitsuchi, that's just making things equally bad for everyone, which is a bit sad! I think we definitely need to Monday-ise these holidays (even if actual Anzac day remains "sacred" and shops are closed etc) and ALSO go back and think about how life has changed since these laws were introduced - ie, Easter Sunday isn't a public holiday, WTF? Seems pretty shit to me that if you work on the weekend you never get any public holidays.

Carol said...

Well, even though the whole system may need looking at, as someone whose only permanent work is on Saturdays & Sundays, I celebrate when I ACTUALLY get a paid public holiday -ANZAC Day this year being one of them.

Monday-Friday workers may feel hard done by when they miss out on a Public Holiday, but overall it works more against people who don't have a regular Monday - Friday work week.

Easter is a total mix up. Easter Sunday is NOT a public holiday, so I always work on that day. But the retail sector has a specific rule that they don't work Easter Sunday. It seems they (but not people like me) need a family day. So I have to work, but can't do the shopping I normally do then - saves time usually. And it FEELS like a Public Holiday that most people get.

This year I am not working at all on Mondays or Fridays, but am working Tuesdays to Thursdays. So the Easter Public holidays did not apply to me... and all the shops were open on the Monday Public Holiday. The Sunday feels like the Public Holiday, so I feel bad about working then.

Maybe there should be a law that states exactly how many paid public holidays each worker is entitled to per year?

Tui said...

@kitsuchi, when public holidays are Mondayised, it's sort of like you get them coming and going - if you work the day that the actual holiday is, you get the holiday (or the pay), but then your co-workers get the Monday as well. So weekend workers wouldn't lose their holidays. (I think this is true - it would have to be if you had a holiday at Christmas this year, since both Christmas and New Years are Mondayised.)

What does seem unfair to me is people who work a five-day week that includes the weekend - say, Wednesday-Sunday (not unusual in some parts of the retail sector) or any other five days, not always consecutive, that doesn't include the Monday - get shafted by public holidays every year - they only get a maximum of seven public holidays in a year (and that's if none of the other days fall on off days. In some years, they would get more like five.) Easter Monday, QB, Labour Day, and most of the Anniversary days are all specifically on Monday. Good Friday is specifically a Friday (obvs.) And the other seven holidays a non-Monday-Friday worker gets only as often as anyone else (or you can do what I did, which is transition from working weekends to working weeks in perfect timing to hit a bunch of weekend holidays.)

Carol said...

Monday-ising is a good idea, but I don't think it works in reverse for weekend workers. If a Public Holoday falls on a Monday or Friday, I don't believe that Saturday or Sunday workers have one of those days as their paid Public Holiday. So again it seems to work more in the favour of Monday-Friday workers.