Public holidays are a crucial part of Australian work culture, providing employees with:
- a well-deserved break from work, and,
- the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) regulates public holidays in Australia, defining the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees regarding entitlements and pay. In this article, we will discuss how these days are recognized under the Fair Work Act and the obligations of employers and employees.
What you need to know about public Holidays
- The Fair Work Act recognizes ten national public holidays in Australia: New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Labour Day, and Easter Saturday (in some states and territories).
- Employers have an obligation to grant their employees a paid day off on these days. If an employee would usually work on a public holiday, they are entitled to their base rate of pay for the hours they would have worked, plus a day off in lieu or an additional penalty rate of pay.
- The amount of payment that employees receive varies depending on their employment status and the award or agreement that applies to them. Full-time employees are entitled to payment at their base rate of pay, while part-time and casual employees may receive a different payment rate.
- Employers must provide their employees with reasonable notice of any changes to their working hours on public holidays. If an employer requires an employee to work, they must pay the employee at a penalty rate or provide an alternative day off in lieu.
- Some regions have additional public holidays specific to their culture or region, and these holidays may be regulated by state or territory legislation.
- Employers and employees must understand their obligations and rights under the Fair Work Act and any relevant state or territory legislation. Employers who do not comply with regulations may face penalties, such as fines or legal action.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) defines the rights and obligations of employers and employees regarding public holiday entitlements and pay. Employers are obligated to provide their employees with a paid day off on public holidays, and employees are entitled to receive payment based on their employment status and the award or agreement that applies to them. Employers and employees must be aware of their responsibilities and rights and ensure compliance with public holiday regulations to avoid potential penalties.
A great place for resources is the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website at Public holidays – Fair Work Ombudsman
Would you like any further information on this article or assistance with implementing practices ensuring compliance in your business? Please contact us on:
Telephone: 1800 HR Smartz (1800 477 627)