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Maximise Your Annual Leave in 2022 | Main Region

Annual leave hack – best time to take a holiday in 2022

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After almost two years of disruption, you’re probably looking forward to a well-earned break. With clever preparation, you can maximise your annual leave in 2022 and more than double your paid time off. 
 
In this article, we uncover how to achieve the maximum possible downtime by taking advantage of public holidays and weekends. With these annual leave hacks for 2022, you’ll return to work recharged and ready to perform at your best.
 

Annual leave and public holidays

Four weeks of paid annual leave is standard, but it can deplete fast. To maximise your paid time off, you can align it to weekends and public holidays. By strategically approaching your standard 20 days of annual leave this way, you’ll book more rejuvenating and purposeful time off. What’s more, by cleverly pegging your selected dates to New Zealand public holidays, you’ll double your time off without resorting to unpaid leave.
 
Here are some of the best dates to book.
 

Maximise your annual leave 2022

Christmas 2021 and New Year’s 2022 – book three days and get 11

This year, Christmas and New Year’s Day occur on a weekend. As a result, public holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Day after New Year’s Day) fall on the following weekdays. 
 
Book three days annual leave: Take three days’ annual leave on Wednesday, December 29, Thursday, December 30 and Friday, December 31.
 
Your 11-day break: You’ll enjoy an 11-day break, from Saturday, December 25, 2021 through to Tuesday, January 4, 2022. 
 

Waitangi Day 2022 – book four days and get nine

In 2022, the Waitangi Day public holiday falls on Monday, February 7. 
 
Book four days annual leave: Take four days of annual leave from Tuesday, February 8. 
 
Your nine-day break: You’ll enjoy a nine-day break, from Saturday, February 5 through to Sunday, February 13.
 

Easter and Anzac Day 2022 – book four days and get 11

In 2022, Good Friday falls on April 15 and Easter Monday is on April 18. Anzac Day falls on Monday, April 25, 2022.
  
Book four days annual leave: Take annual leave on Tuesday, April 19 to Friday, April 22.
 
Your 11-day break: You’ll enjoy an 11-day break from Friday, April 15 through to Monday, April 25
 

Queen’s Birthday, Matariki and Labour Day – book four days for a nine-day break or one day for a four-day weekend

In 2022, the Queen's Birthday public holiday falls on Monday, June 6, Matariki is on Friday, June 24 and Labour Day is on Monday, October 24.
 
Book four days annual leave for a nine-day break: By holiday hacking your annual leave around these public holidays, you'll extend your break. You can book four annual leave days on the week each holiday falls for a nine-day break.
 
Book one day for a four-day weekend: Or, book one day of leave for a four-day weekend.
 

Christmas 2022 and New Year’s 2023 – book three days and get 11

Christmas Day falls on a Sunday in 2022. The Boxing Day public holiday is on Monday, December 26, with a Christmas Day public holiday on Tuesday, December 27. The New Year’s Day public holiday falls on Monday, January 2, 2023. The Day after New Year’s Day is on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 
 
Book three days annual leave: Take three days’ annual leave on Wednesday, December 28, Thursday, December 29 and Friday, December 30.
 
Your 11-day break: You’ll enjoy an 11-day break, from Saturday, December 24, 2022 through to Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
 

Extend your annual leave by working remotely

Another way to maximise your holiday is to request a week’s remote work that begins when your annual leave ends. If your employer is amenable, you can potentially extend the time you spend at a holiday location.
 
You’ll work your standard hours from your hotel room, but you’ll spend your evenings and weekend enjoying your holiday destination before returning home.
 

What annual leave am I entitled to?

How much annual leave can I accrue? It’s a common question, and the good news is that annual leave is a longstanding entitlement in New Zealand workplaces.
 
In New Zealand, according to the New Zealand Government, employees are entitled to at least four weeks’ paid annual leave per year if they work regular full-time hours, and the equivalent for part-time hours.
 
In New Zealand, the first official right to annual leave for all citizens dates back to the 1940s. The Annual Holidays Act 1944 granted employees two weeks’ paid holiday entitlement, and this paid period was stretched to three weeks in 1974, before reaching four in 2007.
 

Why take annual leave, exactly?

Many professionals horde their annual leave, if they can. Perhaps you, too, have several days or weeks of annual leave accrued. According to a survey by travel booking website Expedia, employees are taking considerably less leave than they were prior to COVID-19. The number of New Zealanders feeling holiday deprived was also increasing in the years before the pandemic.
 
This is despite 94 per cent saying a holiday improves health and wellbeing. 92 per cent agree a break helps them feel rejuvenated and improves their outlook, and 80 per cent say it helps to motivate them at work.
 
This year, however, people feel particularly burnt out and in need of a break to unwind and recharge. 
 
The World Health Organisation now recognises burnout as an “’occupational phenomenon”. Burnout syndrome, it states, is the result of chronic workplace stress unsuccessfully managed. Symptoms include:
 
  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • Mental distance from work;
  • More negative feelings or cynicism regarding one’s job;
  • Decreased professional efficacy.
It’s well-known that it often takes over-worked employees some days to really hit their stride in the holiday zone. Therefore, when you cleverly maximise your annual leave, you’ll help avoid burnout.
 

Your annual leave plan 2022

With the above annual leave plan in place, you’ll pack in some serious R&R. No matter how you like to unwind, by making the most of your annual leave, the potential to rest, relax and reset looks very promising.

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