22 Feb 2016

Southland smelter loses battle over holiday rights

5:30 pm on 22 February 2016

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters is hinting it could appeal a court ruling over holiday rights for its employees in Southland.

Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters' operation on Tiwai Point near Bluff Photo: Wikicommons

In a judgement out today, the Court of Appeal upheld a claim by 64 employees to have a day's leave added to their annual holiday entitlement when a statutory holiday falls on a non-working day such as a weekend.

The company, which operates the smelter on Tiwai Point near Bluff, argued it was unreasonable to allow workers to get an extra day's holiday in lieu of a day when they were not working anyway.

The Employment Court argued against this and the Court of Appeal upheld that verdict.

The issue matters, because smelting aluminium is a continuous process that never stops.

In a brief statement, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters chief executive Gretta Stephens said she would consider her options once she had a chance to review the detailed judgement.

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