The National Employment Standards (NES) provide an entitlement for employees to be absent from work on a day or part day that is a public holiday. Here’s a breakdown of the NES from Employment Innovations and how it applies to you.
It also guarantees payment for absence on a public holiday for permanent employees who would normally have been rostered to work on that day and are not required to work. This amount excludes incentive based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates, or any other separately identifiable amounts.
What days are official public holidays?
- 1 January (New Year’s Day).
- 26 January (Australia Day).
- Good Friday.
- Easter Monday.
- 25 April (Anzac Day).
- Queen’s birthday holiday.
- 25 December (Christmas Day).
- 26 December (Boxing Day).
- State or Territory public holidays.
Additional penalty payments for work performed
Awards or workplace agreements may provide for the payment of penalties for work performed on a public holiday. Some also provide for a day in lieu, either in addition to or in substitution for payment.
Reasonable grounds for refusing to work on a public holiday
The following must be taken into account if an employee refuses a request to work on a public holiday:
- The nature of the employer’s workplace and the nature of the work performed by the employee.
- The employees personal circumstances, including family responsibilities.
- Whether the employee could reasonably expect that the employer might request work on the public holiday.
- Whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates, additional remuneration or other compensation that reflects an expectation of work on the public holiday.
- The type of employment.
- The amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employer when making the request.
- Any other relevant matter.
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