South African President Jacob Zuma has again made headlines after declaring 27 December 2016 a national public holiday.

Section 2 (1) of the Public Holidays Act, 1994, states that whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday. This year the Monday following the 25th December is another public holiday (26th December – Day of Goodwill). This has resulted in two public holidays overlapping.

Most people, we expect, would be very pleased to hear that there is effectively another day off over the festive season, but there are very real implications for both employer and employee.

It is important to note that as an official public holiday, workers are not unduly disadvantaged and are still entitled to 12 paid public holidays.

Employers making use of leave calendars on their payroll systems should update the calendar by adding 27 December as a public holiday.

This is important for any business and could have real implications from a payroll perspective, if overlooked.

Our mandate is to keep a close eye on all HR and payroll developments, how and why they impact the market, and make sure we are in a position to guide businesses every step of the way.

Another public holiday on the surface sounds like a great idea, but it does require that businesses adapt their payroll accordingly.

We invite any business or decision maker to consult with our experienced legislation team (info@crs.co.za) who can help.