News & Security Advice

Award Variation – Part Day Public Holidays

The Fair Work Commission has handed down its decision to vary modern awards to include a part day public holiday where gazetted by a State or Territory.

The decision (below) requires employers to pay employee’s public holiday rates in line with each State’s gazetted holidays.

Queensland  – Tuesday 24 December – Christmas Eve (from 6pm to midnight)

South Australia – Tuesday 24 December – Christmas Eve (from 7pm to midnight) and  Tuesday 31 December – New Year’s Eve (from 7pm to midnight)

Northern Territory – Tuesday 24 December – Christmas Eve (from 7pm to midnight) and Tuesday 31 December – New Year’s Eve (from 7pm to midnight)

Part Day public holidays are not gazetted in every State. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/public-holidays/list-of-public-holidays

Modern awards are to be varied as follows:

Where a part-day public holiday is declared or prescribed between 6.00pm and midnight, or 7.00pm and midnight, on Christmas Eve (24 December in each year) or New Year’s Eve (31 December in each year) the following will apply on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will override any provision in this award relating to public holidays to the extent of the inconsistency:

(a) All employees will have the right to refuse to work on the part-day public holiday if the request to work is not reasonable or the refusal is reasonable as provided for in the NES.

(b) Where a part-time or full-time employee is usually rostered to work ordinary hours on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday but as a result of exercising their right under the NES does not work, they will be paid their ordinary rate of pay for such hours not worked.

(c) Where a part-time or full-time employee is usually rostered to work ordinary hours on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday but as a result of being on annual leave does not work, they will be taken not to be on annual leave during the hours of the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday that they would have usually been rostered to work, and will be paid their ordinary rate of pay for such hours.

(d) Where a part-time or full-time employee is usually rostered to work ordinary hours on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday, but as a result of having a rostered day off (RDO) provided under this award, does not work, the employee will be taken to be on a public holiday for such hours and paid their ordinary rate of pay for those hours.

(e) Excluding annualised salaried employees to whom clause A.1.1(f) applies, where an employee works any hours on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday they will be entitled to the appropriate public holiday penalty rate (if any) in this award for those hours worked.

(f) Where an employee is paid an annualised salary under the provisions of this award and is entitled under this award to time off in lieu or additional annual leave for work on a public holiday, they will be entitled to time off in lieu or pro-rata annual leave equivalent to the time worked on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday.

(g) An employee not rostered to work on the declared or prescribed part-day public holiday, other than an employee who has exercised their right in accordance with clause A.1.1(a), will not be entitled to another day off, another day’s pay or another day of annual leave as a result of the part-day public holiday.