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Payment for Public Holidays

With the Christmas/New Year break approaching and a number of public holidays falling within this period, a few points of note should be kept in mind when paying your employees over this period.

  • Where a full-time employee is absent from work on a public holiday, the employer must pay the employee at their base rate of pay for the employee’s “ordinary hours of work” on a public holiday.

  • Part-time employees are paid for the ordinary hours that they would have ordinarily worked had the public holiday not occurred at their base rate of pay.

  • Casual employees are unpaid where they are not required to work on a public holiday.

  • Where an employee works on a public holiday, they are paid for the hours that they worked at the applicable public holiday rate of pay, subject to any minimum engagement period applying. Should a full-time employee work less than the daily ordinary hours (i.e. 7.2, 7.6 or 8 hours per day) then the employee is paid at for the hours that they worked at the applicable public holiday rate of pay and the deficient hours are paid at the employee’s base rate of pay. (i.e. work 4 hours – paid at PH rate of pay; remaining 3.6 hours paid at ordinary rate of pay).

  • Where an employee is on a period of unpaid leave (due to insufficient accrued annual leave or otherwise), it is implied the employee does not have any ordinary hours of work for that period. Therefore as the employee would not otherwise have been rostered to work ordinary hours of work on that day, the employee would not be paid.

If you have any queries or would like more information regarding your employees’ entitlement on public holidays, please contact Drayton's on 07 3831 7099 or

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