Sunny beach scene with one large and two small sandcastle snowmen, all wearing santa hats

With Christmas Day 2016 and New Year's Day 2017 falling on weekends again this year, here is some timely advice regarding the transferring of public holidays and how to work out public holiday pay entitlements.

Transfer of public holidays falling on weekends

  • If the public holiday falling on a Sunday would otherwise be a working day for your employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling due on Sunday.
  • If the public holiday falling on a Sunday would NOT otherwise be a working day for your employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling due on the following Tuesday (as Monday is Boxing Day / 2 January Holiday).

An employee is entitled to a maximum of four paid public holiday days, therefore if an employee is rostered to work on both Sunday and Tuesday, the Tuesday must be treated as a regular day. In the event you do not require them to work on Tuesday, we recommend discussing suitable alternative options with the employee well in advance. These could include roster changes or the employee taking annual leave for that day. 

"Otherwise working day"

In most circumstances it is easy to establish if an employee would have worked a specific day had it not been for the public holiday falling due. However in instances where the matter is less clear-cut, here are some factors to consider with a view to establishing entitlement to public holiday pay:

  • The employee's employment agreement
  • The employee's work patterns
  • Whether the employee works for the employer only when work is available
  • The employer's rosters or similar scheduling systems
  • The reasonable expectations of both employer and employee that the employee would work the day concerned

Christmas close-downs and annual holidays

Employees may be entitled to public holidays which fall during a business close-down period. Entitlement to public holiday pay should be established using the above factors to determine if that day would otherwise be a working day, were it not for the close-down period being in effect.

Similarly, a public holiday which occurs during an employee's annual holidays is treated as a public holiday, not annual holiday.

If you wish to discuss the above, or any other payroll and employment queries, contact Vicki.

E-mail Vicki


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