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Paying Employees Statutory Days – Christmas and New Year

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Friday this year with Boxing Day and the Day after New Year’s falling on a Saturday.

If you are unsure how your employees should be paid over these statutory holidays, first refer to their individual employment agreement to check that it doesn’t provide for any terms in addition to the statutory minimum requirements. Then establish which of those stat days would normally be a working day for them.

When a public holiday falls on a day that your employee would usually work, regardless of how long they’ve been working for you, then they’re entitled to a paid day off.

Employees are only required to work on a public holiday if it’s a condition written into their employment agreement. If they agree to work, you must:

  • pay them at least time and a half and
  • give them an additional paid day off (a day in lieu).

Next the following applies:

When the Public Holiday would normally be a working day for the employee:

If the Public Holiday that falls on the Friday or Saturday is ordinarily a working day but the employee does not work then they are paid for that Public Holiday the same as for a normal working day i.e. at their relevant daily pay.

If the Public Holiday that falls on the Friday or Saturday is ordinarily a working day and the employee does work on those days, then they are paid time and a half for the hours they work, and they are also entitled to an alternative day off (lieu day).

When the Public Holiday is not usually a working day:

If the employee does not normally work on the Public Holiday, in this case the Friday or Saturday, then they do not get paid at all for those days.  For example, someone who usually works Monday to Friday but not Saturday or Sunday would be paid for the Friday whether worked or not, as detailed above, but not paid for the Saturday.

If the employee does not normally work on the days the Public Holiday falls but then does work on those days, they are entitled to be paid time and a half for the hours they work, and not entitled to an alternative day off (lieu day).

Mondayisation of a Public Holiday

Public holidays such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the day after New Year’s Day are recognised on the actual date they fall, rather than always being recognised on a Monday, as others are, for example.

However, Mondayisation applies for these public holidays when they fall on a Saturday or Sunday (that the employee doesn’t usually work).  Then, the public holiday is moved to the following Monday (or in some cases Tuesday) for that employee. If an employee normally works on the day of the public holiday’s calendar date then there is no Mondayisation for them and their public holiday benefits apply to the calendar date.  If an employee would normally work on both the calendar date of the public holiday and the possible mondayisation date, their public holiday is on the calendar date. They don’t get two public holidays.

When the employee is on call on the Public Holiday but doesn’t get called out:

If the day is an otherwise working day for the employee, the employee gets their on-call allowance, if applicable, and an alternative holiday if they have had to restrict their activities to the extent that they didn’t get a day off.

If the day is not an otherwise working day for the employee, the employee gets their on-call allowance if applicable.

If you require further information regarding paying employees for statutory holidays, please call us to speak to one our consultants.

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