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How to handle annual close-downs

Many New Zealand businesses temporarily close down at some point during the year, commonly over the Christmas-New Year period. With a bit of preparation and know-how, employers can handle the annual close-down seamlessly and lawfully.

Here are some key considerations if you are planning to shut the business for a short time:

  • Decide if there will be a close-down - NZ employment law allows employers to implement one close-down each year.

  • Set the dates - close-downs usually happen over summer, but you might want to close during a slow period or season.

  • Notify your people as early as you can - you must provide at least 14 days’ notice of a close-down and it’s best done in writing.

  • Decide how you will handle employee leave - you can direct employees to take annual leave or agree to other forms of leave over the close-down period.

  • Be prepared to speak to people so you can deal with issues effectively and get the right outcome for the business and staff.

  • Then enjoy the break!

This article looks at temporary close-downs and employers legal obligations in more detail.


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