Public Holidays and Otherwise Working Days


When determining entitlements for public holidays it's important to understand Otherwise Working Days.

A day is considered an Otherwise Working Day (OWD) for an employee if it is a day they would normally work. In many cases this is easy to determine, but for some employees with variable working patterns, OWDs aren't so clear cut.


Factors to take into consideration when determining an OWD for an employee: 

  • The employee's employment agreement 
  • The employee's work Patterns/Rosters (Our Automate Public Holidays and OWD that we have set up in FlexiTime will look at using these to determine an employees OWD)
  • Whether the employee only works for the employer when work is available
  • If there are reasonable expectations between the employee and the employer that the employee would work that day.

Once an OWD is determined the below diagram shows what an employee should be paid for a public holiday if they work, do not work, or if they should receive an alternative leave day.


Flexitime can use either the employee set up details or the timesheets to determine if a day is an OWD based on their work patterns. Note that there may be other contractual conditions to consider, and in complex cases we recommend using this tool from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment: "Otherwise Working Day" calculator.

To allow FlexiTime to do what it can to determine OWDs from the information available, Automate Public Holidays must be ticked under Setup > Company Settings > Company Details. You should also select your Provincial Anniversary. If your business covers multiple regions in a single FlexiTime account, you will need to handle provincial holidays manually.


Determining OWDs from Employee details

When determining an OWD the first place FlexiTime looks is at the settings on the 'Employment' tab of each employee. There are two ways to record the employee's work pattern here - either the Hours Per Day and Days Per Week are entered, or the hours are entered against the specific weekdays.



Typically the hours and days are used for a very regular work pattern. Note that if Days Per Week is set to 5, Flexitime will assume that every weekday is an OWD. If this is not the case or if an employee works other than 5 days (but has set hours) then you should record the hours for each weekday. Tick Show Days if the weekdays are not showing, then enter the hours the employee is contracted to work on each day.



If your employee doesn't have a regular weekly work pattern, you can set the Hours Per Day and Days Per Week to 0 and let FlexiTime determine their work pattern from their Timesheet records instead.


Determining OWDs from Timesheets

Many businesses with employees working variable days and hours use a rule of thumb when deciding on OWDs along the lines of 'Has the employee worked on this day of the week for 3 or more of the last 4 weeks?'. If you're using the Timesheets, FlexiTime has the details required to make that decision for you.

To apply this sort of rule, go to Setup > Company Settings > Timesheets. Tick Use Timesheet Work Pattern (this is only available if you have Automate Public Holidays ticked on the Company Details tab). You can then specify the minimum times the weekday must be worked in a chosen period for the weekday to be an OWD.

For example, if the rule is  'Has the employee worked on this day of the week for 3 or more of the last 4 weeks?', your settings might look like this:



Note that FlexiTime will only refer to the Timesheet work pattern if it can't figure out a work pattern from the employee's Employment tab.


Manually specifying OWDs using Timesheets

For cases where the OWD rules are more complex you can explicitly record in the Timesheets how you want the holiday to be handled.  An example of this could be where you have a roster that repeats over a period of more than a week, so it is clear which day is an OWD, but FlexiTime (being weekly based) cannot determine this.

To specify a worked OWD you can use a work category with Accrue Alternate Day ticked and Time and a Half set as the Pay Code.

To specify an un-worked OWD you can use work or a work category that has Public Holidays set as the Pay Code to pay for a public holiday day off.


Pay Leave Report

When a pay period includes public holidays, the Pay Leave report will have an additional section detailing how FlexiTime interpreted each holiday for each employee. We highly recommend checking this report if you have FlexiTime handling public holidays automatically.

You can download the Pay Leave Report by viewing the open pay, opening the View Reports dropdown, and selecting Pay Leave Report.

This shows which employees the day is an OWD, whether they accrue an alternate day; or if they are paid for a public holiday, the amount paid. There are also explanations as to how FlexiTime determined the OWD and what to pay. Note that this shows the situation when the pay was initially created. Any changes you make to the pays are not reflected in this report.


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