Leave without pay and public holidays

Do you have staff taking leave without pay over the holidays? Do you know your employer obligations for public holidays that fall during leave without pay? Read the below Q&A to get up-to-speed.



We have a number of employees taking leave without pay over the Christmas and New Year period. Are we still obligated to pay them for public holidays that fall within the unpaid period?


This is a controversial question and a source of ongoing debate. In the Fair Work Act, s116 says that if an employee does not have ordinary hours of work on the day the public holiday falls, the employee is not entitled to payment for the holiday.


To avoid confusion with your employees and their pay, communicating with them about this matter before the holidays is a good idea.

Do you need some HR help? Get in touch with Lisa at or Nick at, or call (07) 46383599.