Payments for Public Holidays

There are four public holidays over this Christmas/New Year period – Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the second of January.  These are falling on Thursdays and Fridays this year.

If you have staff working on these days you will need to pay them the legal minimum of time and half for the hours they work– and check if their employment agreement states something different.  If it is a normal working day and they work don’t forget to also provide an alternative day to be taken.  If it is not a normal working day then it is just time and half to pay for hours worked. Where employees are ‘on-call’ on public holidays you may want to seek further advice from us about how you deal with this.

All payments for public holidays, whether worked or not should be paid at relevant daily pay (RDP) or average daily pay (ADP) where RDP cannot be calculated.  If you are not sure how to work this out contact a member of our team.

For all other staff you will continue to pay as normal for the public holidays if it is a normal day of work.  If you are not sure you will need to apply the “otherwise working day” test – i.e. had it not been a public holiday would they have worked on that day. 

If you have staff leaving your employment before Christmas do check if they are entitled to public holidays.  For all staff leaving you need to add any annual holidays outstanding from their last day (i.e. leave accrued from the previous leave year only) to their last day and count forwards.  If this annual leave period incorporates any public holidays, then where any public holiday falls on what would have been the employee’s ordinary working day you then treat this as a paid public holiday.   For example, if a staff member working Monday - Friday finishes on 19th December and has 6 days annual leave owing this will make their last day 31st December.  This is because a public holiday occurring during an employee’s annual leave must be treated as a public holiday and not as annual leave. In this example payment would be made for Christmas and Boxing Day as these two Public Holidays occur during the 6 days of annual leave owing.

If you have any questions about payment of public holidays or leave this Christmas please do give a member of the team a ring.