Ensure the right pay for holiday work

11 December 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman is urging employers and employees to check pay rates and entitlements that apply over the Christmas and New Year public holidays.

“Don’t wait, get prepared now,” Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said today.

“Whether you are a business operator preparing for a busy festive trading period or an employee working through the holiday season, it’s important you are aware of the penalty rates that apply.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has updated the public holidays section of its website - www.fairwork.gov.au/publicholidays - with information about penalty rates on public holidays in each State and Territory.

The information includes the dates of various public holidays and part-day public holidays, together with advice relating to rates of pay and requesting or declining to work on public holidays.

Mr Wilson says it is important for employees and employers alike to understand their respective rights and responsibilities.

“While most people are looking forward to a break this festive season, many people will be working, and it’s important they receive the right penalty rates,” he said.

“Many businesses cannot close their doors at this time of year, or choose to stay open, and staff working over the public holidays are entitled to get the penalty rates which apply.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated more than 800 complaints relating to the underpayment of public holiday penalty rates last financial year. Tens of thousands of dollars were recovered for hundreds of employees around the country who had been short-changed their public holiday penalty rates.

In the past 12 months, the public holiday tools and resources on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website were viewed 341,000 times.

“It is encouraging to see that people used this facility, and we hope they will do so again in the lead-up to this festive season to ensure they understand the rates which apply to their workplace,” Mr Wilson said.

Online tools and resources also include PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

Anyone seeking assistance about public holiday penalty rates can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

For regular updates on workplace laws, workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at www.fairwork.gov.au/enewsletter.

You can also follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries: 

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902

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