Through the Christmas period what “working days” means will depend upon what your contract or the relevant legislation says.
As a general rule statutory holidays and weekends are not “working days”. Beware though, some contracts and legislation refer only to “days” (and weeks or months). When that happens those days where we are all celebrating the holiday season will still count. For example, the Land Transfer Regulations 2002 prescribe a 14 day period for a caveator to apply to prevent a caveat lapsing. These 14 days could run from 24 December to 6 January where there are few people available to deal with any notice.
Here is a quick summary of what counts as the holiday period in property legislation and contracts.
- Property Law Act 2007 – 25 December to 2 January are not working days. This is usually relevant to notices issued under leases or mortgages and is the default for property generally.
- Standard form of agreement for sale and purchase of real estate (or of a business) – 24 December to 5 January are not working days. However, if settlement notices have been issued because of a default by either party in settling the earliest the notice will expire is 14 January to allow a bit more time.
- Building Act 2004 – 20 December to 10 January are not working days. Why is this longer? I expect because this Act deals more with regulatory matters. So this would be relevant to notices to fix issued under the Building Act and to periods for processing applications for building consent.
- Construction Contracts Act 2002 – 24 December to 5 January are not working days for the purposes of the payment and adjudication processes. From 25 December to 15 January are not working days if seeking review of an adjudicator’s determination under s53 or for the process of judgment being entered or opposed following an adjudicator’s determination.
And what are our working days? We will be closed from 5 pm on 22 December and re-open 9 January 2012.