How much do I have to pay an employee if we substitute a Public Holiday for another day?

2016PublicHolidaysPublic holidays form part of the National Employment Standards (NES).

The NES provides an entitlement for employees to be absent from work on a day or part-day that is a public holiday.

The NES also protects an employee’s workplace right to reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday, and will guarantee payment where a permanent employee is absent from work because of a public holiday.

Employees are protected from adverse action for having, using, or seeking to use their workplace right to reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday.

With the Toowoomba Show Public Holiday coming up on Thursday 7 April, do you need advice on how to manage payment to employees covered under Awards who work on a Public Holiday and the substitute the day off for another day?


  • An employer and a majority of affected employees can agree in writing to substitute a public holiday for another day.
  • If a public holiday is substituted, then the substitute day is regarded as the public holiday and penalty rates are paid on the substitute day.
  • An employee has to be paid public holiday rates for all time worked on a public holiday.  Generally, this is Double Time & a Half….refer to your Award or industrial agreement
  • Regardless of how long employees actually work, when an employee works on a public holiday they have to be paid for a minimum of 4 hours of work at public holiday rates.

Public Holidays 2016……… this link for a handy list of all Public Holidays for 2016, Australia wide……..we trust you find it useful!

If you need any assistance understanding your employees entitlements contact Lisa Lee, Human Resources Manager……….Classic Recruitment & Human Resources