Understanding your obligations as an employer over the Easter period will assist you in scheduling staff and ensuring you pay the right wages.
Generally, employees throughout Australia working on public holidays get paid their base rate of pay, plus any additional penalties provided in any applicable Awards, Agreements or employment contracts.
In all States and Territories across Australia, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. However, the other days over the ‘long weekend’ vary from state to state.
Public Holidays: State by State
Your Obligations on These Public Holidays
There are restrictions on trading on public holidays in most states over the Easter period. For example, in NSW there is restricted trading on Good Friday and Easter Sunday which means that only “exempt shops” are permitted to open, for example, news agencies, chemists, restaurants and cafes.
Employers may request employees to work on public holidays and employees may refuse such a request if they have reasonable grounds to do so.
It is important to note that if a public holiday falls on a day when an employee is not usually rostered and they are not required to work, then they are not entitled to be paid for that day. Conversely, employees who are usually required to work a day that is a public holiday, but are not required to work are paid their base rate of pay for that day.
Employers operating on public holidays, should ensure they are paying correct wage rates, by checking the relevant agreement or seeking advice.