Midweek holiday pay in the technology sector during the turn of the year

The purpose of midweek holiday pay specified in collective bargaining agreements is to ensure that employees receive normal earnings even on weeks with church holidays or other public holidays. For this reason, midweek holiday pay is not paid if the aforementioned day falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

In accordance with chapter 23 of the Collective agreement for the technology industry, the following days at the turn of the year 2019–2020 are paid midweek holidays:

  • Christmas Eve (Tuesday 24 December 2019)
  • Christmas Day (Wednesday 25 December 2019)
  • Boxing Day (Thursday 26 December 2019)
  • New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January 2020)
  • Epiphany (Monday 6 January 2020)

Amount of midweek holiday pay

Hourly employees receive a midweek holiday pay equivalent to 8 hours’ worth average hourly earnings (8 x average hourly earnings). Midweek holiday pay for part-time employees is calculated by multiplying the aforementioned midweek holiday pay by the quotient of the number of regular weekly work hours and the number 40.

Weekly or monthly salaried employees do not receive a separate midweek holiday pay but receive a standard salary for the week with a midweek holiday without deductions.

Working on midweek holidays

Midweek holiday pay is paid also to employees who are working on the day in question due to the working hour system or for another reason they have consented to (overtime). In addition, the employee receives overtime pay if the work constitutes overtime, as well as Sunday pay for holidays marked in red in the calendar.

Chapter 20 of the collective agreement for the technology industry sets out the rules for overtime work, Sunday work and midweek holiday work. The same provisions are set out in the respective collective agreements for other agreement sectors of the technology sector.

Conditions for the payment of midweek holiday pay

The employee is entitled to midweek holiday pay when the following conditions are met:

1) The employment relationship has lasted continuously for at least one month before the midweek holiday.

Example:
If the employment relationship began on Sunday, 24 November at the latest, the employee is entitled to midweek holiday pay for Christmas Eve on 24 December as well as other midweek holidays at the turn of the year.

2) The employee must have worked in accordance with the working hour system on the work day immediately preceding or following the midweek holiday. If the preceding or following day is a working time reduction day or a day of working time bank leave, the employee must have worked on the day immediately preceding or following such days.

Example:
The working hour system has assigned Saturdays and Sundays as days off and the Monday (23 Dec) preceding Christmas Eve (24 Dec) and the Friday (27 Dec) following Boxing Day as working time reduction days. As a result, the final work day preceding the midweek holidays and the day on which the employee must be working is Friday, 20 December, as per the working hour system. Similarly, the immediately following work day is Monday, 30 December. In order to receive midweek holiday pay for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the employee must, in accordance with the working hour system, have worked on either 20 December or 30 December.

If the employee fails to comply with the working hours specified by the system on both 20 Dec and 30 Dec, they lose the right to midweek holiday for one of the three consecutive midweek holidays (24, 25 and 26 Dec). In other words, two holidays will still be paid.

Unauthorised absence on a midweek holiday assigned as a work day in the working hour system

If, according to the working hour system, the employee is obligated to work on a midweek holiday (Mon–Fri) and is absent without acceptable reason, no midweek holiday pay is paid for the holiday assigned as a work day.

Midweek holiday pay during absences

In certain situations, the employee is not obligated to work on the days required to receive midweek holiday pay. Despite this, the employee does not lose the right to midweek holiday pay if the paid midweek holiday falls on:

  • annual holiday (winter holiday),
  • long service leave,
  • leave in lieu of holiday pay,
  • a period of time for which the employer pays sick leave or maternity leave pay,
  • paid leave due to a sudden illness of a child under the age of 10, as specified in clause 31.3 of the collective agreement,
  • the first calendar 15 days of a lay-off due to financial or production reasons, or
  • statutory paternity leave.

The list is exhaustive.

Midweek holidays and annual holiday

The employee’s annual holiday (usually the winter holiday) can be ordered or agreed to begin so that the annual holiday period includes days not counted as days of holiday under the Annual Holidays Act. Such days that fall on the turn of the year are Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Epiphany. If the annual holiday is ordered or agreed to begin on Monday, 23 December 2019, the holiday week in question includes three weekdays in accordance with the Annual Holidays Act (Monday, Friday and Saturday). If the intention is that all six days of winter holiday are taken uninterrupted, the annual holiday continues until Wednesday on the following week.

In order to avoid unneeded ambiguity, it is advisable that matters related to the timing of the holiday and the days that count towards the holiday are clarified beforehand with the employer. It should also be remembered that hourly paid employees receive midweek holiday pay for midweek holidays that fall on their annual holiday, in addition to receiving annual holiday pay.

Further, the employer cannot, without the employee’s consent, order the annual holiday to begin on the employee’s day off if this results in a reduction of the number of weekdays of leave in the annual holiday.

Midweek holiday pay and lay-off

Midweek holiday pay is paid for periods of lay-off due to financial or production reasons if the midweek holiday falls on the first 15 calendar days from the start of the lay-off. In addition, the one-month employment relationship condition must be met.

Example:

Christmas Eve falls on Tuesday, 24 December. If the lay-off began on Tuesday, 10 December at the earliest, midweek holiday pay is paid for Christmas Eve but not other midweek holidays during the turn of the year. If the lay-off began before this, no midweek holiday pay is paid.

If the lay-off ends so that the employee is working in accordance with the working hour system on the work day following the midweek holiday (day required to receive the pay), the employee receives the midweek holiday pay.

If the lay-off was implemented as a reduction of weekly working hours, midweek holiday pay is paid normally regardless of how long the arrangement has lasted.

Other agreement sectors of the technology sector

Ore mines industry

As in the collective agreement for the technology industry.

Sheet and industrial insulation industry

As in the collective agreement for the technology industry, with the exception that the basis for the pay is the employee’s personal time rate and midweek holiday pay cannot be converted to leave.

Workplaces of the Ministry of Defence

As in the collective agreement for the technology industry.