Connect, Learn & Share - Open community for all Canberra Businesses


Employee entitlements to public holidays

  • 1.  Employee entitlements to public holidays

    Posted 26-11-2021 08:10

    The end of the year is upon us, and as we look forward to having a break over the holiday period. Even so, many of our Members at the Canberra Business Chamber remain open for business over this busy period.

    If you have employees who are expected to work over the holiday period, it is important to know when public holidays are because employees can get different entitlements on these days. In the ACT, the public holidays are as follows:

    • Saturday 25 December - Christmas Day
    • Sunday 26 December - Boxing Day
    • Monday 27 December - Additional public holiday for Christmas Day
    • Tuesday 28 December - Additional public holiday for Boxing Day
    • Saturday 1 January - New Year's Day
    • Monday 3 January - Additional public holidays for New Year's Day
    • Wednesday 26 January - Australia Day

    Full time and part-time employees are entitled to be paid their base rate of pay for the public holiday that they take off from working.

    Casual employees are entitled to take the day off, but they are not entitled to be paid for it.

    Employees can be requested to work on a public holiday if their employer's request for them to do so is reasonable. Employees may also refuse to work on a public holiday if their refusal to do so is reasonable.

    If an employee is covered by a Modern Award, and they work on a public holiday, they might also get extra pay called a penalty rate, an alternative day off or an additional day added on to their annual leave.

    Annual leave and sick leave balances are not reduced when an employee uses these entitlements on a public holiday.

    Please contact the Canberra Business Chamber if you require any assistance with Public Holidays entitlements, or their interaction with Modern Awards.


    Linda Hudson
    Employer Assist Manager
    Canberra Business Chamber
    Lyneham ACT
    02 6154 6127