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 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.

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

Horticulture Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028].

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

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

Casual employees who work on a public holiday are paid 225% of their minimum hourly wage (this includes their 25% casual loading). They get this rate whether they're working overtime hours or normal hours.

The public holiday rate for pieceworkers is calculated by multiplying the employee’s piecework earnings for that day by the public holiday rate of 200%.

Minimum hours on public holidays

The Horticulture Award doesn’t have specific minimum daily hours for public holidays.

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

Substituting public holidays

An employer and a majority of employees can agree to substitute a public holiday for another day.

An employer and an individual employee can agree to the employee taking another day as the public holiday instead of the day that has been substituted by the majority of employees.

If a public holiday is substituted, then the substitute day is regarded as the public holiday and penalty rates are only paid on the substitute day.

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

Source reference: Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028] clause 28 external-icon.png

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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, (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.

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

Think a mistake might have been made?

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

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues 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.

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