Business open for public holidays this Christmas season?
Employees get paid at least their base pay rate for all hours worked on public holidays.
Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can provide entitlements for working public holidays, including:
- extra pay (eg. public holiday rates)
- an extra day off or extra annual leave
- minimum shift lengths on public holidays
- agreeing to substitute a public holiday for another day.
Requesting and refusing to work on public holidays
Employees don’t have to work on a public holiday. However, an employer can ask an employee to work on a public holiday, if the request is reasonable. An employee may refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds. The following need to be taken into account when deciding if a request is reasonable:
- the employee’s personal circumstances, (eg. family responsibilities)
- whether the employee will get more pay (eg. penalty rates)
- the needs of the workplace
- the type of work the employee does
- whether the employee’s salary includes work on a public holiday
- whether the employee is full-time, part-time, casual or a shiftworker
- how much notice the employee was given about working
- the amount of notice the employee gives that they refuse to work.
When requesting that an employee work on a public holiday, employers need to consider all relevant circumstances, including the ones listed above.