National’s proposal to allow workers to trade their fourth weeks holiday for cash has attracted criticism from the usual suspects.
But our holdiay provision is generous – four weeks leave plus 11 statutory days which add up to another couple of working weeks away from work.
That means a business employing five people has someone on holiday for more than half a year. Some businesses shut down completely so everyone has their holidays together, but that’s not possible for most. Some end up needing another person to cover those on holiday and if that’s not possible or practical other staff have to carry the load when workmates are on leave.
Another point critics of National’s policy don’t take into account is that not everyone wants all that time off. Time away from work is important for mental and physical helath, but four weeks holidays plus the 11 stat days is more than some people want or can afford.
Some people actually like going to work – a director of an agrcultural supply company told me that one of their long-serving employees was owed more than a year in holdiays and in spite of persuasion from the CEO he didn’t want to use them.
And some people don’t want a fourth week because it’s expensive – they live from pay day to pay day and can’t afford to leave home for a holiday so they’re forced to stay at home. There’s nothing wrong with holidaying at home by choice but if you do it from financial necessity it’s not so much a vacation as a staycation.
These people will benefit if National’s proposal is enacted because they’ll get an extra week’s pay – so they’ll have a paycation.
No-one will be forced to take the money rather than the holiday – the whole point of this policy is choice. Those who want a break can still have it and those who don’t can take the money- there is nothing for workers to fear in that.