Things to know before the public holidays

Things to know before the public holidays


The Easter and ANZAC public holidays are fast-approaching, which means for most of us, some well-deserved time off with friends and family to celebrate these important occasions.

Unfortunately however, some of us need to work during this time.

To ensure operations continue to flow smoothly during this period, we’ve outlined below some useful reminders on the rules around requests to work public holidays and on pay & entitlements.

But first, it’s handy to identify which days are the public holidays for the upcoming period.  In NSW and the ACT these are:

  • Good Friday – Friday 19 April
  • Easter Saturday – Saturday, 20 April
  • Easter Sunday – Sunday, 21 April
  • Easter Monday – Monday, 22 April
  • ANZAC Day – Thursday, 25 April

Working on a Public Holiday

The next thing is to establish those employees who will be absent on a public holiday and those who will be requested to work (if any).  You should remember most staff are entitled to be absent from work, however as an employer, you can request an employee work if the request is reasonable.

To assist in determining whether a request is reasonable, some of the things taken into consideration are outlined below:

  • the nature of the workplace
  • the work the employee performs
  • the employee’s personal circumstances
  • whether the employee is entitled to receive any additional compensation (e.g. overtime, penalty rates etc) for working the public holiday
  • whether the employee could reasonably expect they would be asked to work
  • the amount of notice (both by the employer making the request and the employee refusing it).

If you want assistance in determining if a request you wish to make is reasonable, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Pay & Entitlements

 Finally you need to determine how you pay everyone.  We’ve outlined the different circumstances below:

 Employees working on a public holiday:

  • are entitled to at least their base rate of pay for all hours worked
  • may also be entitled to extra pay such as public holiday loadings, an extra day off or other entitlement so ensure you check any applicable modern awards, enterprise agreements or contracts.

Employees not working on a public holiday

  • Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to be paid their base rate of pay if they would have ordinarily worked on the day the public holiday falls
  • Casual employees are not entitled to any payment for a public holiday unless they are required to work.

 Employees who are on leave during a public holiday:

  • If an employee is on paid leave during a public holiday, the public holiday substitutes the other leave. For example if an employee takes annual leave from 22 to 26 April, only 3 days should be debited from their annual leave balance, as both 22 and 25 April are public holidays
  • Remember this rule does not apply if the public holiday falls on a day that is not an employee’s usual day of work, or if the employee is on a period of unpaid leave.

If you would like more information about the above, or want to discuss what happens in your workplace, do not hesitate to get in touch with our Employment Relations Specialists on 9390 5255 or email

Back to articles