Every year we receive several calls from clients seeking clarification as to the payment entitlements of staff over the Christmas / New Year break period. The formula for this year is:



If an employee terminates their employment leading up to the shutdown, if they have been with you for more than one (1) year, when calculating their annual leave entitlements you will need to project the number of hours / days of their current entitlement to determine whether they are eligible for payment for any non-worked public holidays that occur over the Christmas / New Year period. If the number of entitled days projects past any of the Public Holidays, the employee is entitled to payment for the public holiday in addition to the annual leave due. If the terminating employee has not been with you for more than 12 months this rule does not apply as their leave is only paid out at a rate of 8% of the total gross earnings (less any leave paid in advance)


Payment for Public Holidays:

If the day of the public holiday falls on what would be an ordinary working day of the week for the employee, and the employee is not required to work that day, they are entitled to be paid for a non-worked public holiday, which is then paid at the Relative Daily Rate of Pay (RDP) – what they would have received had they been at work on the day of the leave.

The days that this will apply to are:

  • Christmas Day – Wednesday 25 Dec
  • Boxing Day – Thursday 26 Dec
  • New Year’s Day – Wednesday 1 Jan
  • The day after New Year – Thursday 2 Jan

As none of these days fall on a weekend – the transfer of public holidays rule will not apply this year if the person is not rostered to work on any of the above dates.

If the employee is required to work on any of the above days, and these are ordinary days of work for them (they generally work these days each week) then they are entitled to time and one half (their usual wage rate or daily salary plus half that amount again for each hour worked) – they will then also accrue an alternative (lieu) day to be taken at a later date.

If the employee does not usually work on these days, but agrees to work, they receive time and one half but not the additional day in lieu.

Where staff have rotating or flexible hours and you are not certain whether they have entitlement to a lieu day or not for working on the public holiday, use the simple rule of “if they have worked three or more of the last four Wednesday’s or Thursday’s (respectively) they would be entitled to the alternative day, if they have worked two or less of the last four Wednesday’s or Thursday’s (respectively) they would not be entitled to the lieu day.

Any casual employees agreeing to work on a pubic holiday will be entitled to time and one half but not an alternative day on account that genuine casuals do not have regular days and hours of work.


Pay Day:

If your usual weekly payroll day is a Wednesday or Thursday, you will need to ensure that the pay is processed on the Tuesday of each week to ensure that staff have cleared funds in their accounts on or before their usual payment date.


 If you have any questions about payroll over the break, please give our team a call. 

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