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Public Holiday

There’s just so many public holidays!

Over the last week, we have had a number of clients call us requesting information about the upcoming run of public holidays.  To assist you, we have put together the following information:

What days are treated as public holidays?

The period between  Friday 19 April 2019 to Friday 26 April 2019 contains a significant number of public holidays.  The following list details those days:

  • Friday 19 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 10 April – Easter Saturday
  • Sunday 21 April – Easter Sunday
  • Monday 22 April – Easter Monday 
  • Thursday 25 April – Anzac Day 

Note: On a local or state basis, there may be some a variation to the classification of days.  If you have any queries, we recommend visiting your state government website.

Can I make my Employees work?

You can request an employee work on a public holiday if the request is reasonable.  However, under the National Employment Standards, an employee has the right to refuse any request to work on these days.

What if I have staff working?

You must pay applicable requirements of your award for any employees working on a Public Holiday.  As well as providing for the appropriate rate, your award may provide for additional requirements such as minimum shift lengths on public holidays.

What if my employee does not work a public holiday?

If your employee normally works on a day a public holiday falls, then your employee must be paid their base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not been absent on that day.  Casual employees are not paid if they do not work a public holiday.

For example – if your employee normally works a Friday, they will be entitled to payment for ordinary hours on Good Friday (19 April) if they do not work.  If they do not normally work Sunday, they will not be entitled to payment for Easter Sunday (21 April)

What if my pay run falls on a public holiday?

The running of pay for your employees may be affected by public holidays as follows:

  • You normally run your pays on a day on which a public holiday falls  – you must notify your employees of any changes to their payment date. If you are unable to run your pay on the normal day, we recommend running your payroll on the last working day before the public holiday. Alternatively, you may run payroll on the next working day following the public holiday. Whichever option you decide to utilise you must notify your employees of the change to their expected payment date.
  • Through no fault of yours, the existence of a public holiday may result in bank processing delays – It is advisable that you inform all employees of the possibility of their bank delaying the processing of payments due to these public holidays.

My employee will be on leave for this period

If your employee is on leave over the above period, only the Normal Working Days are debited from their leave accrual balances.  As the employee would normally be entitled to the public holiday off, you will need to pay them for their ordinary hours they would have worked if they were not absent (See the table above to identify the days on which annual leave may be debited)

Can I direct my employee to take leave over this period?

If you intend closing your business over this period, you can direct your employees to take leave.  However, you must meet any requirements of your award in regards to providing your employees with notice of the closure.  For example, the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 requires employees be given “at least 4 weeks’ notice” if you require employees to take annual leave.

My employee has called in sick (or is not coming in because of the need to care for an immediate family member) for the Normal Working Days

If your employee does not come to work due to illness, or the need to care for an immediate family member, this may be debited from their personal leave.  Personal Leave, when taken for illness, is available for use when a person is unfit to present to work and undertake their normal duties.   According to the National Employment Standards, you may request the employee provide evidence of their unfitness for work on any occasion, for any period.  This may comprise of a medical certificate or other appropriate evidence that satisfies you of their standard of fitness. 

If you have any questions or need further information?

For further information regardingyour workplace please see the Fair Work fact sheet which can be downloaded from:

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/fact-sheets/minimum-workplace-entitlements/public-holidays

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding how to manage your employees over this period please do not hesitate to contact us or Telephone: 1800 HRSmartz (1800 477 627)

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