Working on public holidays – legal and practical considerations

15 April 2024

ANZAC Day this year falls on a Thursday, and we have received enquiries from members regarding work on and around Thursday 25 April 2024.

Members are also reminded that the Labour Day public holiday occurs shortly after on Monday 6 May.

For all public holidays, employees, other than casuals, who are rostered to work will be entitled to have the day off work and be paid for their ordinary hours. If you want to work on public holidays:

  • You must agree with individual employees to swap the day for another day; or
  • Pay them double time and a half for all hours worked.

Practically, please remember that:

  • Employees are entitled to be absent on public holidays, and requests to work can be made but must be reasonable (talking into consideration factors including the notice given of the request, whether the employee will be paid penalties, an employee’s personal circumstances, and the employee’s reasons if they refuse to work); and
  • It is an offence to carry out building work that causes audible noise on public holidays.

Local councils are responsible for enforcing these restrictions and may issue fines to the person/s carrying out the work if audible noise results from the work being undertaken on the public holiday.

Members may want to close their business on the Friday following ANZAC Day and have a long weekend. If you propose to shut your business on the Friday after ANZAC Day:

  • Agree with employees to take paid leave; or
  • If agreement cannot be reached, you must pay employees, other than casuals, their ordinary for the day.
    • Please note that you must provide notice to casual employees that they will not be offered work that day.

If you require more detailed advice, please contact the Workplace Relations team.

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