All employees are permitted to take a day off on a public holiday. However, an employer can ask an employee to work. An employee can say no if they have reasonable grounds (reasonable grounds).
Go to our List of public holidays page for a list of public holidays in your state or territory.
Watch our short video about public holidays.
Public holiday pay
Full-time and part-time employees who don’t work on a public holiday are paid their minimum pay rate for the ordinary hours they would usually work on that day.
Some employees working on a public holiday must be paid a penalty rate (penalty rate). This is higher than their minimum pay rate.
Public holidays during other leave
When an employee takes annual or sick leave they’re still entitled to be paid for public holidays. This payment doesn’t come out of the employee’s leave balance. However, the public holiday has to fall on a day the employee would usually work.
What to do next
- Use our Pay Calculator (Pay calculator) to find public holiday rates