Getting the right pay over Easter

27 March 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman is urging employers and employees to check pay rates and entitlements that apply to public holidays over the upcoming Easter break.

"Whether you are a business operator preparing for Easter trading or an employee working though Easter, it's important that you are aware of the public holidays and any penalty rates that apply," Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said today.

The Fair Work Ombudsman's website - www.fairwork.gov.au/publicholidays - contains information about rates of pay and public holiday entitlements in each state and territory.

The website also has advice on how to request or decline working on public holidays, what employees are entitled to and what employers need to pay on public holidays that fall during annual leave, as well as other frequently asked questions.

Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April) are national public holidays, with some states and territories also declaring Easter Saturday and/or Easter Sunday public holidays.

The applicable public holidays in each state and territory are:

  • ACT/NT/QLD/SA/VIC - Good Friday (29 March), Easter Saturday (30 March) and Easter Monday (1 April)
  • NSW - Good Friday (29 March), Easter Saturday (30 March), Easter Sunday (31 March) and Easter Monday (1 April)
  • TAS/WA - Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April)

Mr Wilson said it is important for employees and employers alike to understand their public holiday rights and responsibilities.

"While most people are looking forward to a break over Easter, many people will be working, and it’s important they receive everything they're entitled to," he said.

"Many businesses can't close their doors over Easter or choose to stay open, and staff working over the public holidays are required to be paid penalty rates that apply under their award or industrial agreement."

Online tools and resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au 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.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has investigated more than 250 complaints relating to the underpayment of public holiday penalty rates over the last year.

More than $450,000 was recovered for over 230 employees around the country who had been short-changed their public holiday penalty rates.

"It's clear that employers and employees are using our resources to educate themselves about public holidays," Mr Wilson said.

"Information on the website related to public holidays has been viewed almost half a million times.

"It is encouraging to see employees and employers accessing these tools and resources, and I hope they will re-visit in the lead-up to Easter to ensure they understand the rates which apply to their workplace."

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Infoline on 13 13 94.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
penelope.rowe@fwo.gov.au

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