Employee enjoying public holiday on the beach

Public Holidays and Employees

December 5, 2019 | By Caroline Robertson, Vitil People Solutions

A Public Holiday forms part of the National Employment Standards (NES) and applies to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system. The NES provides an entitlement for employees to be absent from work on a day or part day that is a Public Holiday. Public Holidays and Employees can be confusing, especially if you have team members who do not work a normal week of 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. So how do you manage employees who, depending on their job role, may be out of the ordinary in terms of their working days and hours and also, how do you pay them?

Let’s first of all look at Public Holidays and Employees who work 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

When a Public Holiday falls on one of their working days, they will get the day off but also get paid for this day at their normal base rate of pay. This is exactly the same arrangement for a part-time employee who has a working day that falls on a Public Holiday. An employee’s roster cannot suddenly be changed to avoid making this payment. The base rate of pay doesn’t include any incentive-based payments, bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, over time or penalty rates.

An employee will not get paid for a Public Holiday if none of their normal working days fall on a Public Holiday. For example, if an employee doesn’t normally work on a Friday, they shall not receive any payment for the Good Friday Public Holiday.

Now let’s look at Public Holidays and Employees who are out of the ordinary.

Depending on the nature of an employee’s job role, they may be required to work on a Public Holiday. When this happens, the employee is entitled to be paid based on the provisions in the applicable Australian Modern Award, Enterprise Agreement and other registered agreements or the employment contract. These can range from extra pay for example Public Holiday rates, an extra day off or extra annual leave, minimum shift lengths and agreeing to substitute a public holiday for another day. If an employee who normally works on a Public Holiday has a day off, they will still be paid for this day however it shall be at their base rate of pay. They would not receive any penalties because they are not working.

Now let’s look at Public Holidays and Employees in relation to annual leave and sick leave.

Employees who are on paid annual leave or sick leave when a Public Holiday falls will be paid as normal for that day. If however, the employee is on unpaid leave, they will not receive any payment for the Public Holiday. Public Holidays and Employees can be confusing. If you need help to understand this area further, please seek help from Vitil People Solutions.

Vitil Outsourced HR Consultants

Vitil People Solutions is a boutique Human Resources consulting firm based across Perth, which offers flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced HR support, people solutions and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. By outsourcing HR to an expert in Human Resource Services, our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment, your human capital needs, and ensure we provide advice and support to further develop your team and your businesses performance.

Contact us to discuss tailoring HR solutions to your business needs.

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