Public Holiday Entitlement

As we are getting ready to head into the fourth public holiday of the 10 statutory public holidays now available to employees each year, here is a quick summary in respect of public holiday entitlements in the workplace.

  • Since 2023, there are ten statutory public holidays available to employees under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 as follows: New Years Day (January 1), St Bridget’s Day ( First Monday in February or February 1st), St Patrick’s Day (March 17), Easter Monday, First Monday in May, First Monday in June, First Monday in August, Last Monday in October, Christmas Day (December 25) and St Stephen’s Day (December 26).
  • Good Friday and Christmas Eve are not public holidays and there is no legal entitlement to such days off, which may however be classified as bank holidays. However, an entitlement in respect of these days may exist if it has been custom and practice by an employer to normally grant the days off.
  • All full time employees are automatically entitled to public holiday benefits in respect of each public holiday. Part time and casual employees who have worked at least 40 hours in the five weeks ending on the day before the public holiday are also entitled to public holiday benefits.
  • An employer may decide which of the following entitlements to give in respect of each public holiday: a paid day off on the public holiday; a paid day off within a month; an extra days annual leave; or an extra days pay.
  • If an employer fails to respond to an employee’s request on which option is to apply to a public holiday within 14 days of the public holiday the employee will be entitled to a paid day off on the public holiday.
  • Employees who leave employment in the week before a public holiday are entitled to receive a days pay if they have worked for the 4 weeks before the public holiday and subject to the the requirement to work 40 hours for part time employees).
  • Employees on sick leave must also receive their public holiday entitlement provided that they are not absent for more than 26 weeks due to an ordinary illness/accident or for more than 52 weeks due to an occupational accident.
  • Employees on maternity, adoptive, parental and the first 13 weeks of carers leave accrue their public holiday entitlement as normal and are entitled to an additional days pay or an additional days leave in respect of each public holiday.

Payment for Public Holidays

  • Employees who work or would normally be required to work on a public holiday are entitled to a normal days pay.
  • Employees who are not normally rostered to work on a public holiday are entitled to one fifth of their normal weekly rate of remuneration.
  • Where employee earnings vary and there is no fixed rate of pay or normal weekly pay, payment should be based on the average daily earnings (excluding overtime) for the 13 week period ending on the day before the public holiday.