Public Holidays & Payroll

Confusion over public holiday payment rates'


There's a lot of confusion among both employers and employees regarding applicable wage payments over public holidays, such as Christmas, New Year and Easter. 

To help clarify matters, here's an example based on Christmas.

Joe works full-time and normally works Monday to Friday. This year (2021), 25 December fell on a Saturday which is not a normal working day for Joe. Therefore the Christmas Day holiday is Mondayised for him. As a result he will either:

  • have Monday as a day off on his relevant daily pay or average daily pay or
  • he can work on Monday and get at least time and a half for the hours he works and also get a paid alternative holiday (day in lieu).

It's important to realise that Joe will not get any payments (or alternative holiday) in relation to Saturday (25 December) unless he works on that day.

If Joe did work on Saturday 25 December, and because Saturday is not a normal working day for him, he would:

  • be paid for the hours he does at whatever rate he would be paid for any other Saturday he worked, and
  • not get an alternative holiday (day in lieu) for working on Saturday 25 December.

Joe’s employer should explain this to him before he agrees to work on 25 December, so that he understands that he won’t be paid at time and a half and won’t get an alternative holiday (day in lieu) for working on 25 December.

Contact us if you need further clarification or help with your payroll.

Lynley Averis

Lynley is a highly experienced MYOB Certified Consultant who has worked with MYOB software for over 20 years. She has been MYOB Partner of the Year in 2010, 2013 and 2019.