2017 Easter public holidays


With Easter fast approaching, employers need to be aware that the Easter public holidays vary from state to state:

  • Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in all states and territories
  • Easter Saturday is a public holiday in all states except WA and Tasmania
  • Easter Sunday is a public holiday in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Queensland only

For detailed information about public holidays in your state, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman

Entitlements for working on a public holiday

If your business operates on a public holiday, employees in the dairy industry who are covered by the Pastoral Award 2010 must be paid penalty rates at the rate of double time if they work on that day. 

Non award employees (managers) are not entitled to penalty rates for work on public holidays.

Read more about public holiday pay rates (inc. casual rates)

Entitlements for not working on a public holiday

The National Employment Standards provide for employees who do not attend work on public holidays to receive the base rate of pay they would have received for ordinary hours of work as follows:

  • Full-time employees are entitled to a paid day off for public holidays 
  • Part-time employees are entitled to be paid for the hours they would normally work on public holidays. If they do not normally work on the day of the public holiday they are not entitled to pay 
  • Casual employees are not entitled to pay for public holidays unless they are rostered for work on that day 

Can I require my employees to work on a public holiday?

You can request an employee to work on a public holiday, as long as the request is ‘reasonable’. An employee can refuse your request if the request is not reasonable or if the refusal is reasonable. To decide whether a request or refusal is ‘reasonable’, you need to consider a number of things including:

  • the nature of the business and its operational requirements
  • the employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities
  • the employee’s expectations about a requirement to work on the public holiday
  • whether the employee is entitled to penalty rates or other compensation for working on the public holiday
  • employee status (whether they’re full-time, part-time, casual or work shift work)
  • the amount of notice you gave them when asking them to work on the public holiday
  • the amount of notice given by the employee if they do not want to work on the public holiday
  • any other relevant matter