Public Holidays

With a slew of public holidays just over the horizon, employers should be mindful of the requirements of the modern awards and the Fair Work Act.

All employees who would normally work on a given day, are paid when a public holiday falls on that day. Part timers, for example, won’t be paid if the public holiday is a day they wouldn’t normally work. Casuals who aren’t rostered to work a public holiday aren’t paid for that day. Casuals who are rostered to work receive a loading of 175% instead of the usual 25%.  Permanent employees are paid at double time and a half if they work a public holiday and a minimum of four hours must be paid.

Rather than pay loadings though, if your employees agree, either individually or by a majority, you can decide on a substitute day instead of that public holiday. This arrangement can be useful if for example your business is located where a local holiday, such as a show holiday, is on a different day from the local holiday where most of your employees live.

Recent legislative changes coming into effect this year mean that Easter Sunday will now be a public holiday. That means the whole long weekend from Good Friday (14th April) through to Easter Monday (17th April) will be composed of public holidays.

Although the Government is currently considering changes to the laws, which could include simplifying provisions for trading hours across the State, rules for who can and cannot trade on given public holidays are still quite complex. You should be familiar with the restrictions on when you can and cannot trade. As always, if you have any further questions, call or email your local MTA.

Paul Murray  
Industrial Relations Officer

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