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Daylight saving and your employment obligations

Home Insights Daylight saving and your employment obligations

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Contributed by: Kylie Dunn, Laura Cole and Rebecca Scoggins

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Published on: March 25, 2019

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Employment Update – March 2019

Believe it or not, daylight saving ends on Sunday 7 April 2019. At 3:00am on this day, clocks go back to 2:00am. This alert considers the legal obligations of employers in relation to employees who are working when daylight saving ends. These issues should be considered now, before rosters for the relevant period are finalised.

In New Zealand, daylight saving and the effect it has on employees who work when it begins or ends is governed by the Time Act 1974 and the New Zealand Daylight Time Order 2007.

Waged employees

Under the Time Act if, by reason of daylight saving ending, an employee is required to work more hours than they would have otherwise worked, they must be paid for the extra hour worked at the rate ordinarily paid for overtime. The amount paid must include any allowances normally paid and be at least minimum wage. Depending on the terms of the employee's employment agreement, penal overtime rates may be payable and must be paid.  

For example, if, on the day which New Zealand Daylight Time ceases and clocks go back an hour, an employee on a night shift works for 9 hours rather than their normal 8 hours, then that employee must be paid for the extra hour worked.

Employers should also have regard to the terms and conditions of an employee's individual employment agreement. In particular, the hours of work clause may prescribe the maximum number of hours an employee is required to work in any week. If an employee will be required to work hours in excess of this due to daylight saving ending, there will need to be an agreement between the employer and employee as to any additional hours the employee may be required to perform.

Salaried employees

Daylight saving ending should have no impact on the remuneration payable to salaried employees where remuneration adequately compensates the employee for all hours worked (provided such employees are receiving at least the minimum wage for all hours worked, and the employment agreement contains a valid 'availability provision'). 

If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of the team.


This publication is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

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