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With Easter approaching its important for employers to make themselves aware of their legal obligations to workers this Easter – whether employees are working or taking the public holidays off.

Working on Public Holidays

Employees get paid at least their base pay rate for all hours worked on public holidays.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can provide additional entitlements for working public holidays, including:

  • extra pay (eg. public holiday rates)
  • an extra day off or extra annual leave
  • minimum shift lengths on public holidays
  • agreeing to substitute a public holiday for another day.

Do employees have to work on public holidays?

An employer can ask an employee to work on a public holiday, if the request is reasonable. An employee may refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds.

The following need to be taken into account when deciding if a request is reasonable:

  • the employee’s personal circumstances, (eg. family responsibilities)
  • whether the employee will get more pay (eg. penalty rates)
  • the needs of the workplace
  • the type of work the employee does
  • whether the employee’s salary includes work on a public holiday
  • whether the employee is full-time, part-time, casual or a shiftworker
  • how much notice the employee was given about working
  • the amount of notice the employee gives that they refuse to work.

Public holidays over Easter by State or Territory

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – Easter Saturday
  • Sunday 4 April – Easter Sunday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – Easter Saturday
  • Sunday 4 April – Easter Sunday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

NORTHERN TERRITORY

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – Easter Saturday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

QUEENSLAND

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – The day after Good Friday
  • Sunday 4 April – Easter Sunday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – Easter Saturday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

TASMANIA

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday
  • Tuesday 6 April – Easter Tuesday – generally Public Service only

VICTORIA

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Saturday 3 April – Saturday before Easter Sunday
  • Sunday 4 April – Easter Sunday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Friday 2 April – Good Friday
  • Monday 5 April – Easter Monday

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