23 January Common questions about Australia Day public holiday January 23, 2017 By Reef Admin General, Leave provisions 0 With the Australia Day public holiday coming up later this week, some employers have questions. Here's a brief explanation of some of the more common issues. What is the declared public holiday for Australia Day? This Thursday, 26 January 2017 is the public holiday for Australia Day this year across the country, including in NSW, the ACT, Victoria ,Tasmania and Queensland. What do I pay an employee who does NOT work on the Australia Day public holiday? A full-time or part-time employee absent from work on a public holiday when they would ordinarily be rostered to work on that day, is entitled to be paid their ‘base rate of pay’ for the ordinary hours they would normally work on that day. The base rate of pay does not include any loadings or allowances (except as the employee may be otherwise entitled under the contract of employment). However, casual employees are not entitled to be paid for a public holiday unless they actually work it. What do I pay an employee who I require work on a public holiday? If you require an employee to work on a public holiday, the rate of pay will be determined by reference to the award applicable to the employee. In this regard: For sales and property/strata management employees – the employee will be paid double time with a minimum payment of 3 hours work. (Please refer to the REEF 2016 wage booklet for the actual minimum public holiday rate for classifications under the award.) For clerical employees – the employees will be paid double time and a half with a minimum of 4 hours work. (Please refer to the REEF 2016 wage booklet for the actual minimum public holiday rate for the classifications under the award.) What if an employee refuses my request to work on a public holiday? Under the Fair Work Act, an employee is entitled to be absent on a public holiday. However an employer may request an employee to work on such a day provided the request is “reasonable”. You should talk to one of our workplace advisers if you confront any objection from an employee who you ask to work on the Australia Day public holiday. What if an employee is not rostered to work on a Public Holiday? If the employee does not have ordinary hours of work for the day on which the public holiday falls, the employee is not entitled to payment for the public holiday. For example, the employee is not entitled to payment if the employee is a casual employee who is not rostered to work for the public holiday, or is a part-time employee whose part-time hours do not include the day on which the public holiday falls. You should also note the employee is not entitled to an alternate day off work because their ‘rostered day off’ falls on a public holiday – they simply miss out. Recommendations for Australia Day 2017 REEF suggests that members remind employees that the public holiday for Australia Day this year is Thursday, 26 January 2017 and that members also explain to employees that if they do not wish to work on the Friday then they should request annual leave or leave without pay (as the case may be) beforehand. Members should also be reminded that if an employee is absent from work on Friday, 27 January 2017 and seeks paid personal/carer’s leave (sick leave) for that day, the employer is entitled to request a medical certificate. Related Public holidays over the Easter long weekend With Easter just around the corner, questions about the public holiday status over the long weekend inevitably arise. Myth busting: Putting common misconceptions to rest Workplace relations is complex and, unfortunately, misinformation is all too common. The REEF team debunks some of the more common myths and gives you the truth. Myth busting: Solving common misconceptions Workplace relations is complex and, unfortunately, misinformation is all too common. The REEF team debunks some of the more common myths and gives you the truth. 2017 Roadshow: It's all about your industry Hear from REEF about what lies ahead in the workplace relations space at the 2017 Roadshow. You'll also hear insights from other key industry stakeholders. CEO message: Avoid common termination mistakes The REEF Helpline is a key tool that helps real estate employers manage and comply with their employment obligations. Notifying NSW Fair Trading about change of employment Do you know what your obligations are when it comes to notifying NSW Fair Trading about an employee joining or leaving your agency? We asked the regulator for clarification. Comments are closed.