26 September 2023

Holiday rules wrapped up for Easter Sunday

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The Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety has issued a Circular setting out the impacts of Easter Sunday becoming a public holiday from this year and the implications that may have on public employees’ entitlements.

The Department’s Circular 1/2022 Easter Sunday Public Holiday declares that State awards and industrial agreements must immediately recognise Easter Sunday as a public holiday and apply penalty rates for work performed on the day.

According to the Circular however, another day can be substituted if there is an entitlement to substitute for another reason, for instance if the public holiday falls on an employee’s rostered day off.

The Circular states that where public sector industrial instruments contain inconsistent or inferior entitlements, those entitlements will need to be amended when the instruments are renegotiated.

“Government Sector Labour Relations has reviewed all instruments to identify where changes are needed and will advise Agencies at the commencement of bargaining if their agreements are affected,” the Circular says.

“This circular provides guidance on the implementation of the Easter Sunday public holiday in the public sector while inconsistencies between the Public and Bank Holiday Act and industrial instruments remain.”

The Circular says that the statutory Easter Sunday public holiday operates independently from, and does not replace, the additional day of leave in lieu of Easter Sunday in public sector industrial agreements.

It promises that officials from the Government Sector Labour Relations unit would be contacting Agencies whose employees were covered by industrial agreements containing composite or annualised salaries reflecting public holidays, or lump sum payments in lieu of public holidays.

“The officials will be advising how payment for the Easter Sunday public holiday should be administered,” the Circular states.

The Department’s Circular 1/2022 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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