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Planning for public holidays – What do I pay my staff?

Penalty RatesDecember 22, 2015

Planning for public holidays – What do I pay my staff? (Last Updated On: November 23, 2016)

Public holidays are just about on our door step. You better beware, it means if you do not pay your penalty rates the Fair Work Ombudsman could come knocking.

Depending on your Modern Award rate and the terms of employment you will need to be paying your staff differently on a public holiday. Whether your staff are causal, part time, full time or contracted, under the Fair Work Act, payments vary. Be cautious, as it can be very confusing.

Causal workers working on a public holiday they are entitled to higher rates of pay. A full-time or part-time employee who would normally be working on a day which has happens to have fallen on a public holiday, will be paid the same rate even though they are not at work. However if they are required to work on a public holiday their pay will increase and an extra day of annual leave may need to be given to compensate.

Adding further confusion to the mix is the current media coverage on the abolishment of penalty rates. No decision has been made yet on whether Sunday penalty rates will change. This means that this Christmas and New Year, all employers must abide by the current employment legislation, which is to increase the rate of pay on weekends and public holidays. Read more on penalty rates here.

Upcoming public holidays to be aware of:

– In South Australia there are additional hours on upcoming public holidays. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve public holidays will commence from 7.00pm

– Christmas Day: 25 December 2015

– Boxing Day: 26 December 2015

– Boxing Day Public Holiday: Monday 28 December 2015

– New Year’s Day: 1 January 2016

If you have any questions referring to public holidays this Christmas and New Year, call Employsure on 1300 651 415. We advise employers on public holidays and provide clarification on the correct Modern Award rate your business falls under. Call us today to speak with a qualified employment relations specialist.

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