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Public holiday surcharges

A business can charge any amount as a surcharge, even on a public holiday. However, it must disclose the surcharge, and accurately describe why the surcharge is applied.

On a public holiday, surcharges are often applied to cover the extra costs a business faces, such as paying employees time and a half in accordance with the Holidays Act.

If a business gives this reason for a surcharge or claims its surcharge covers other costs, the surcharge shouldn’t exceed the actual costs incurred by the business.

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What days are public holidays?

The following days are defined as public holidays under the Holidays Act:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • the day after New Years Day
  • Waitangi Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • ANZAC Day
  • King’s Birthday
  • Matariki
  • Labour Day
  • your regional anniversary day.

Watch out for surcharges on Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday isn’t a public holiday. A business can’t claim that a surcharge is to cover additional costs incurred by complying with the Holidays Act on a public holiday, if it isn’t a public holiday. Any business that does risks breaching the Fair Trading Act.

How can I complain about a misleading surcharge?

If you feel you’ve been misled about a surcharge, you can contact the Commerce Commission. Consumer NZ members are also welcome to contact our Consumer Advice Line.

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