Working on public holidays

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

Working on public holidays

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

  • extra pay (for example 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.

Find information about working on public holidays in your award by selecting from the list below.

Electrical Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award [MA000025].

An employee has to be paid public holiday rates for all time worked on a public holiday.

The exceptions are when a shiftworker starts work:

  • between 11pm and midnight on a public holiday - they don't get paid public holiday rates between 11pm and midnight
  • before midnight (eg. starts at 11pm) on the day before a public holiday - they get paid public holiday rates for the hours worked on the day before the public holiday.

A shiftworker who works the major portion of their shift on a public holiday will be paid public holiday rates for that rostered shift.

To calculate public holiday pay rates, use our Pay Calculator.

Minimum hours on public holidays

The Electrical Award doesn't have specific minimum daily hours for public holidays.

Check the Electrical Award for the minimum daily hours when working overtime on a public holiday.

For the minimum daily hours in this award, go to Hours of work.

Substituting public holidays

An employer and an employee can agree in writing to substitute a public holiday (or part-day public holiday) for another day or part-day but only if they usually work that day.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Electrical Award summary.

Source reference: Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award [MA000025] clause 13.14 and 26 external-icon.png

You do not have javascript enabled. Please select your preferred industry from the links below, to view your tailored content for this section.

Requesting and refusing to work on public holidays

Employees don't have to work on a public holiday.

However, 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, (for example family responsibilities)
  • whether the employee will get more pay (for example 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.

When requesting that an employee work on a public holiday, employers need to consider all relevant circumstances, including the ones listed above.



Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.114 -116 external-icon.png

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business

Find tools, resources and information you might need in our Small business showcase.

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.

Page reference No: 1906