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Public holidays in Western Australia

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Public holiday dates

 

New Year's Day Australia Day Labour Day Good Friday Easter Monday ANZAC Day Western Australia Day Queen's Birthday  # Christmas Day Boxing Day
2013 Tuesday 1 January Monday 28 January Monday 4 March Friday 29 March Monday 1 April Thursday 25 April Monday 3 June Monday 30 September Wednesday 25 December Thursday 26 December
2014 Wednesday 1 January Monday 27 January Monday 3 March Friday 18 April Monday 21 April Friday 25 April Monday 2 June Monday 29 September Thursday 25 December Friday 26 December

Public holiday dates 2015 & 2016.


#Non-metropolitan local authorities may celebrate the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday on an alternative date, see the regional dates listed below.

Pay and entitlements for public holidays

Where two dates are listed for a public holiday, please check your award or agreement or call Wageline on 1300 655 266 to determine which of the two days is the relevant public holiday.

Some state awards provide for the public holiday to be observed on the next working day if the holiday falls on a weekend, while other awards and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act provide for the actual day only to be the public holiday.

This information is for people in the WA state industrial relations system.  If you do not know if it is relevant to you, read our information on who is in the WA state system.

Minimum entitlement

Generally, full time employees receive 10 public holidays each year. Part time employees receive public holidays if the day falls on a day they would otherwise have worked.
The minimum entitlement is that a full time or part time employee who is not required to work on a day solely because that day is a public holiday is entitled to be paid as if he or she was required to work on that day.

Additional pay for work on public holidays

There is no minimum entitlement to a penalty rate or additional pay for work on public holidays. If a business is operating, employees are required to work for normal rates, unless a specific public holiday rate is agreed, or is provided by the relevant award or agreement.
Employees who would normally be rostered to work on a day that is a public holiday are entitled to a paid day off work if the business is closed because of the public holiday.
Many awards, agreements and contracts of employment do provide extra wages for working on public holidays. You should check the appropriate award or agreement to determine whether an additional rate applies for public holidays or call Wageline on 1300 655 266.

Requiring employees to work on a public holiday

Full time, part time and casual employees can all be required to work on a public holiday to suit the requirements of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act which specifies that the actual day of the holiday is the public holiday, not any substitute day. This means that if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, for example, the Sunday is the public holiday, not the Monday.

Most awards and agreements do allow the substitution of the next weekday for the public holiday. You should check your award or agreement.

Annual leave and public holidays

Some awards, agreements and contracts of employment provide for an additional day of annual leave when an annual leave day falls on a public holiday.  You should check the appropriate award or agreement.

Exclusions

Casual employees are not entitled to paid public holidays.
Certain types of employees are excluded from the public holiday provisions of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act. However, these types of employees may be covered by an award or agreement that provides a public holiday entitlement. These exclusions are:

  1. disabled persons working in a supported employment service; 
  2. persons paid wholly by commission or piece rates (per item);
  3. volunteers; and
  4. persons appointed under the National Trust of Australia (WA) Act 1964 as wardens.

What do our public holidays commemorate?

Information on the origins and purpose of Western Australia’s public holidays is provided below.

Australia Day

Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet and the establishment of the first European settlement in Australia, on 26 January 1788.

Labour Day

The Labour Day holiday commemorates the granting of the eight hour working day to Western Australian workers.  It is held on the first Monday in March and today recognises the contribution of all working people to the prosperity of our State.

ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is a day for remembrance and recognition of all Australians who have served our country in wartime. The original ANZACs were the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought in Gallipoli in Turkey during the First World War. These troops landed in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and the ANZAC Day public holiday is held on 25 April each year.

Western Australia Day

Foundation Day is a uniquely Western Australian public holiday. It commemorates the day that the first European settlers arrived in Western Australia to found the Swan River Colony on 1 June 1829. Foundation Day is held on the first Monday in June each year.

Queen’s Birthday

The Queen's Birthday holiday is proclaimed by the Governor of Western Australia based on the dates of the Term 3 school holidays and the Royal Show. This recognises the significance of the Royal Show, which has been associated with the Queen's Birthday public holiday since 1981.

The other Australian States have the Queen's Birthday holiday in June. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's actual birthday is 21st April.

School holiday and term dates

School holiday and term dates are available on the Department of Education’s website

Regional Dates for the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday

Regional Dates for the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday