As the fifth bank holiday of 2014 approaches, I thought it would be useful to remind you about how public holiday entitlement applies to employees, as determined by the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. Full time employees have an immediate entitlement to public holidays from the first day of employment, whilst part-time employees must have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks preceding the public holiday to benefit. There is no automatic right to have the day of a public holiday off and employees may be required to work on public holidays. In terms of compensation, it is up to the employer to decide which of the following should apply:
1) A paid day off on the public holiday;
2) A paid day off within a month of the public holiday;
3) An additional days annual leave; or
4) An additional days pay.
Where a public holiday falls on a day that an employee normally works, one of the above will apply. If a public holiday falls on a day on which an employees does not normally work, they are entitled to one fifth of their normal weekly wage, in respect of the public holiday.
It should also be noted that employees who leave employment in the week before a public holiday falls may also be entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.
Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, employers are required to retain records for a period of 3 years to prove that they have granted employees appropriate public holiday entitlement and can face compensation awards of up to 2 years remuneration for non compliance.
If you require further information about public holiday entitlements, please email HR Solutions or telephone Carmel Murphy on (071) 9642748.