In Australia, whether full-time employees get paid for public holidays depends on their employment contract, the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement, and the specific circumstances of the holiday.
Generally, full-time employees are entitled to be paid for public holidays, but the exact entitlements can vary.
Here are some key points to consider.
Award or agreement
The entitlements for public holidays can be outlined in the relevant modern award or enterprise agreement that applies to the employee's industry or workplace. As such, these documents may specify whether employees are entitled to additional pay (penalty rates) or a day off in lieu of working on a public holiday.
Public holiday pay
If an employee is not required to work on a public holiday, they are usually entitled to their base pay for that day. However, if they are required to work on a public holiday, they may be entitled to penalty rates, which can be significantly higher than their standard pay rate. The exact rates and conditions can vary based on the award or agreement.
Alternative day off
Some employees may have the option to take a day off in lieu (also known as a substitute holiday) if they work on a public holiday. This means they can choose to take another day off instead of the public holiday and still be paid for it.
The entitlement to public holiday pay may also depend on an employee's continuous service with the employer. In some cases, employees may need to have worked for a certain period to be eligible for public holiday pay.
Part-time & casual employees
Part-time and casual employees may have different entitlements compared to full-time employees when it comes to public holidays. They may receive penalty rates or not be entitled to paid public holidays, depending on their employment arrangements and the applicable award or agreement.
It's essential for both employers and employees to be aware of the specific terms and conditions in their employment contracts or the relevant industrial instruments (awards or agreements) that apply to their situation. Additionally, employment laws and regulations can change over time, so it's a good practice to consult with relevant authorities or legal professionals for the most up-to-date information on public holiday entitlements in Australia.
For more information regarding leave entitlements, click the button below to read our article on whether an employee can be forced to use their annual leave.