Pay for leave and holidays guidance

It’s the employer’s responsibility to give employees the correct pay and entitlements for leave and holidays. Our guidance document may be helpful.

Leave and holiday entitlements during COVID-19

For help in applying aspects of the Holidays Act 2003 (the Act) employers, employees and payroll providers can use Holidays Act 2003: Guidance on holidays and leave [PDF 1.8MB].

The guidance document was originally released in June 2017 with the title Holidays Act 2003: Guidance on annual holidays and related provisions. It has since been expanded to include further sections on bereavement leave, alternative holidays, public holidays and sick leave.

The document can help:

  • employers understand and meet their obligations
  • employees understand their entitlements and make sure they are receiving them
  • professional service providers support employers to meet employer obligations – and employees to receive their entitlements – under the Act.

The guidance document does not override the legal obligations employers have under the Act, and must be read alongside the law.

Details of changes made to the original document, including minor edits to existing content can be found inside the document.

For more help on applying the Act, see Leave and holidays or contact us. If you’re still unsure of how to apply any aspect of the Act, you should seek independent legal advice.

Send us your feedback

If you would like to provide feedback on the guidance document, please email

Keep up-to-date

In order to keep the guidance up-to-date, MBIE has established a regular annual review cycle that will take place from 2018 onwards.

If you would like to receive MBIE email updates about the guidance review process, please subscribe to our updates (external link)

If you know anyone else who might be interested in receiving these communications, please refer them to this webpage.

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Page last revised: 15 February 2018

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