Retail News & insights

It feels as though we’ve blinked and eight months of the year have flown past. There are now only three months until Christmas! Before we know it, department stores will be decorating their floors with Christmas trees and tinsel and we’ll be checking our lists twice to make sure we’ve bought all of our presents.

Apart from the stress of Christmas shopping, you also need to start forward planning your rosters for the Christmas period, taking into account the Public Holidays. For some members who operate nationally, this means getting your head around the different Public Holidays in each state.

  1. What are the Public Holidays for this Christmas/New Year Period?

New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory

Christmas Day

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Boxing Day

Monday, 26 December 2016

Additional Day

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

New Year’s Day

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Additional New Year’s Day

Monday, 2 January 2017

Victoria, Northern Territory

 

Boxing Day

Monday, 26 December 2016

Substitute Christmas Day

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

New Year’s Day

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Additional New Year’s Day

Monday, 2 January 2017

South Australia

Christmas Eve

Saturday, 24 December  (7pm –Midnight)

Christmas Day

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Additional Christmas  Day

Monday 26 December 2016

Proclamation Day

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

New Year’s Eve

Saturday, 31 December (7pm – Midnight)

New Year’s Day

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Additional New Year’s Day

Monday, 2 January 2017

  1. What is an additional Public Holiday and a substitute Public Holiday?

Additional Public Holiday

If an additional public holiday has been declared, it means that all work on either the original public holiday or the additional public holiday must be paid at public holiday rates. For the General Retail Industry Award 2010 the Public Holiday rate is double time and a half.

Substitute Public Holidaychristmas-1.jpg

In Victoria and the Northern Territory a substitute Christmas Day Public Holiday has been declared. This means that Sunday 25 December 2016 will be treated as a normal Sunday with relevant Sunday penalty rates. All work on Monday 26 December will be paid at the Public Holiday rate, which is double time and a half under the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

  1. Public Holidays for Part Time Employees

I have a Part-Time Employee working in a store in New South Wales. Her rostered days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Do they get paid on Tuesday 27 December (the additional Public Holiday) or do they receive an additional day off?

The answer is no. An employee doesn’t get paid for a public holiday if they don’t normally work on the day that the public holiday falls. In the event that a public holiday is to fall on an employee’s rostered day off, they will not be entitled to be paid or be given an additional/alternative day off.

  1. Public Holidays for Salaried Employees

If your salaried employee works on a public holiday, you need to make sure their salary incorporates payment for hours worked on a public holiday at the public holiday rate. If it hasn’t been calculated to include work on public holidays, you may have to make an additional payment to compensate them for their work that day.

  1. Can I force my employee to work on a public holiday if they say they don’t want to?

As per section 114 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), all employees have a right to be absent from work on a day that is a public holiday. However, an employer may request an employee to work on a public holiday, only if that request is reasonable. If you request your employee to work on a public holiday, the employee may only refuse that request if:

  1. the request is not reasonable; or
  2. their refusal is reasonable.

When looking at whether a request or refusal of a request to not work on a public holiday is reasonable the following is generally taken into account:

  1. the operational requirements of the business;
  2. the employee’s personal circumstances e.g. family or carer’s responsibilities;
  3. whether employee could reasonably expect to be asked to work on the public holiday;
  4. whether the employee would be compensated with penalty payments, overtime etc; and
  5. the amount of notice in advance that was given by the employer when making the request, and by the employee when refusing the request.

For more information regarding Public Holidays please contact the ARA Employment Relations Team on 1300 368 041.

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