Public Holidays

Monday 14 June 2021 was a public holiday (Queen’s Birthday) in all states and territories except for Western Australia and Queensland.

DateDayState
14 June 2021MondayNSW, VIC, TAS, SA,TAS and ACT

In this eTAPS, we share some FAQs we normally receive following the day of a declared public holiday.

Are public holidays paid if the employee is on unpaid leave?

If the employee is only on unpaid leave either the day before or the day after the public holiday, they are entitled to be paid the public holiday.

However, if they are on unpaid leave (including unpaid parental leave) BOTH the day before and day after the public holiday, it is not paid.

Note: If the employee is taking annual leave at the same time as unpaid parental leave, they won’t be paid for the public holiday.

What happens if there is a public holiday during a period of paid leave?

If a public holiday falls during a period of paid leave (e.g. annual leave or sick leave), the employee has to be paid for the public holiday. This includes any hours that fall on a part-day public holiday.

The public holiday will not be counted as annual leave or sick leave. This means that the public holiday hours will not be taken away from the employee’s amount of built-up paid leave.

If an employee is taking long service leave on a public holiday, whether an employee gets paid for the public holiday is set out in the state or territory long service leave legislation.

NSWVICQLDSA
Yes, public holidays are paid in addition to LSL.Yes, public holidays are paid in addition to LSL.Yes, public holidays are paid in addition to LSL.No, public holidays are not paid
NTACTTASWA
No, public holidays are not paidYes, public holidays are paid in addition to LSL.Yes, public holidays are paid in addition to LSL.No, public holidays are not paid

What do employees get if they don’t work on a public holiday and the public holiday falls on a day the employee normally works?

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to be paid at their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours that they would have otherwise worked.

The base rate of pay doesn’t include any incentive-based payments, bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.

If the public holiday does not fall on a day the employee normally works, the employee is not entitled to payment if the public holiday falls on a day they do not normally work. 

If they do work on a public holiday, employees are entitled to be paid a minimum of their base rate of pay for all hours worked on a public holiday. However, under many awards and agreements, an employee who works on a public holiday may:

  • receive a penalty rate or loading for the hours they work
  • be provided with time off instead of payment of penalty rates.

Note: An employee’s roster can’t be changed to avoid the payment for a public holiday if the employee doesn’t work.

Do employees receive superannuation for public holidays? 

Payment for public holidays not worked, that would have been worked had it not been a public holiday, is considered ordinary time earnings and is superable. 

If a public holiday is worked and it is a normal working day (not overtime), then the full pay for the day (including any penalty rates) will be subject to super. 

If a public holiday worked is considered overtime, then super is not payable. 

Are employees entitled to public holidays during a stand down?

Employees who are stood down without pay by their employer under the Fair Work Act are still entitled to be paid for public holidays that fall during the stand-down period. This applies if the employee would normally have ordinary hours of work falling on the day of the public holiday.

What happens if an employee is working outside the state or region on a public holiday?

An employee is entitled to public holidays depending on where they are based for work not where they are working on the day of the public holiday

One of our employees called in sick on a public holiday, are they paid as sick leave or public holiday?

If an employee is rostered to work on a public holiday on a day they normally work and calls in sick, they get paid for that day as their ordinary pay; it is not treated as personal leave (sick leave).

If an employee is rostered to work on a public holiday on a day, they don’t normally work and calls in sick; they don’t get paid for that day.

Can an employee’s termination date/last day be the public holiday? 

A public holiday can be a termination date, i.e. the employee’s last day.

For example, where an employee has given the required period of notice and the last day happens to fall on a public holiday, they should be paid for the public holiday.

Here is a summary table to assist you:

Is the public holiday paid if…Paid?
Paid leave is taken before and after the public holiday?Yes
Paid leave is taken before and unpaid leave is taken after the public holiday?Yes
The employee’s termination date falls on a public holiday?Yes
The employee is receiving Workers Compensation payments?Yes
Sick leave is taken either before or after the public holiday?Yes
Unpaid leave is taken before and after the public holiday?No
The employee is receiving Government Paid Parental Leave?No
Annual leave is being taken at the same time as unpaid parental leave?No
The employee is on company-paid parental leave?Refer to your company policy

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