Easter is just around the corner—it is important that employers understand their obligations for public holidays during the Easter holidays.
The following days are public holidays across all of Australia:
- Good Friday—Friday 3 April 2015
- Easter Monday—Monday 6 April 2015
Most states and territories have declared additional public holidays over Easter. In Victoria, Saturday 4 April and Sunday 5 April 2015 are also public holidays.
Employers can ask their employees to work on a public holiday, if the request is reasonable. However, employees can refuse to work on a public holiday if they have reasonable grounds, for example, if the employee has family responsibilities.
Permanent employees who are absent from work on a public holiday should be paid their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked if it had not been a public holiday. However, a permanent employee is not entitled to payment if the public holiday falls on a day they would not normally work. Casual employees have no entitlement to be paid if they do not work on a public holiday.
Employees may also be entitled to penalty rates, time in lieu or equivalent annual leave in respect of each hour worked under the terms of any applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or employment contract.
It is important to remember that there are restrictions on trading on public holidays in most states. In Victoria, there is restricted trading on Good Friday which means that only “exempt shops” are permitted to open, for example, petrol stations, chemists, restaurants and cafes.
For assistance with checking the minimum pay rates and entitlements that apply at your workplace ahead of the Easter holidays, please contact HR Legal.
This article was produced by HR Legal. It is intended to provide general information only in summary format on legal issues. It does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as such.