Christmas – New Year 2019–20 public holiday arrangements

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Employee / workerEmployer

The information on this page applies only to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system. The state system covers businesses which operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trust arrangements as well as any incorporated association or not for profit bodies that are not trading or financial corporations. The Guide to who is the WA State System has more detail.

This information does not apply to any business which operates as a Pty Ltd business and is a trading or financial corporation nor to any incorporated association or not for profit body that is a trading or financial corporation. These businesses and organisations are in the national fair work system and should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for information on employment laws.

The public holidays for the 2019–2020 Christmas – New Year period are:

  • Christmas Day, Wednesday 25 December 2019
  • Boxing Day, Thursday 26 December 2019
  • New Year's Day, Wednesday 1 January 2020

Get the right information

An overview is provided below of the public holiday arrangements for:

  • Award free employees
  • Shop and Warehouse Award
  • Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award
  • Hairdressers Award

If your WA award is one of the top 35 awards, check the relevant WA award summary for details.

For other awards, view your award on the WA Industrial Relations Commission website.

Wageline is available on 1300 655 266 to answer public holiday questions.

Please note Wageline will be closed from Wednesday 25 December 2019 to Wednesday 1 January 2020 and reopen on Thursday 2 January 2020.

Award free employees

Overview

For award free employees, Wednesday 25 December 2019 is the Christmas Day public holiday, while Thursday 26 December 2019 is the Boxing Day public holiday. Wednesday 1 January 2020 is the New Year’s Day public holiday.

Full time and part time employees

Award free full time and part time employees who would normally work on Wednesday 25 December 2019, Thursday 26 December 2019 and/or Wednesday 1 January 2020, but who are not required to work solely because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day.

There are no minimum entitlements to additional rates of pay for working on a public holiday for award free employees. However, award free employees may have contracts of employment which specify other arrangements for payment and paid time off for public holidays.

Casual employees

There are no minimum entitlements to additional rates of pay for award free casual employees working on a public holiday. However, award free employees may have contracts of employment which specify other arrangements for payment on public holidays.

Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award

Overview

Under the Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award, Wednesday 25 December 2019 is the Christmas Day public holiday, while Thursday 26 December 2019 is the Boxing Day public holiday. Wednesday 1 January 2020 is the New Year’s Day public holiday.

Full time and part time employees

Full time and part time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays, but who are not required to work because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day. If a full time or part time employee is required to work on one or more of these days, public holiday pay rates will apply.

The Shop and Warehouse Award provides that when any of the days that are public holidays under the award fall on a day that a full time or part time employee is usually required to work less than one fifth of their ordinary weekly hours of duty, the employee is entitled to time off duty without deduction of pay equivalent to the difference between the time usually worked on that day and one fifth of their ordinary weekly hours.  The following examples illustrate how this works.

Sue Lee is a part time employee who works 25 hours per week. One fifth of Sue Lee’s ordinary weekly hours are therefore 5 hours (25 divided by 5). Sue Lee normally works on Thursday (9 hours), Friday (8 hours) and Saturday (8 hours) each week.

Wednesday 25 December 2019 is the Christmas Day public holiday under the award. As the public holiday falls on a day that Sue Lee is usually required to work less than one fifth of her weekly hours (in this case no hours) Sue Lee is entitled to paid time off duty equivalent to 5 hours. The time off duty represents the difference between the time she usually works on a Wednesday (0 hours) and one fifth of her ordinary weekly hours (5 hours).

The time off duty may be taken at a time that is mutually agreed between the employer and employee, or it may be taken in conjunction with a period of annual leave.

Example 2

Jeremy is a part time employee who works 30 hours per week. One fifth of Jeremy’s ordinary hours is therefore 6 hours (30 divided by 5). Jeremy normally works 4 hours on a Wednesday.

Jeremy’s employer is closed on Wednesday 25 December 2019 (the Christmas Day public holiday under the award). Jeremy is entitled to be paid for the 4 hours he would normally have worked on that Wednesday, and additionally, he is entitled to time off duty equivalent to 2 hours. The time off duty represents the difference between the time he ordinarily works on a Wednesday (4 hours) and one fifth of his ordinary weekly hours (6 hours).

The time off duty may be taken at a time that is mutually agreed between the employer and employee, or it may be taken in conjunction with a period of annual leave.

The Shop and Warehouse Award also provides that when a public holiday falls on an accrued day off (known as a ‘rostered day off’ under the award), an employee is to be compensated in one of the following methods by agreement between the employer and employee:

  • payment of an additional day’s wages, or
  • another day shall be allowed with pay within twenty eight days, or
  • have another day added to their annual leave entitlement

Example

Harriet works 19 days over a four week cycle (eight hours per day) and has a rostered day off every fourth Wednesday.

In 2020 the New Year’s Day public holiday under the award (Wednesday 1 January) falls on Harriet’s rostered day off. To compensate for this, Harriet and her employer can agree that Harriet:

  • receive payment of an additional day’s wages,
  • take another rostered day off within 28 days, or
  • have another day added to her annual leave entitlement

Casual employees

Casual employees who are required to work on one or more days that are public holidays must be paid at public holiday rates. Casual employees will therefore be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Wednesday 25 December 2019
  • Thursday 26 December 2019
  • Wednesday 1 January 2020

Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Award employees

Overview

Under the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award, Wednesday 25 December 2019 is the Christmas Day public holiday, Thursday 26 December 2019 is the Boxing Day public holiday and Wednesday 1 January 2020 is the New Year’s Day public holiday.

Full time employees

Full time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays under the award, but who are not required to work because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day. If a full time employee is required to work on one or more of these days, public holiday pay rates will apply.

If any public holiday under the award falls on an employee’s non-working day (referred to as a ‘rostered day off’), the public holiday is observed on the next rostered working day. In this situation the next rostered working day is considered to be a public holiday, while the non-working day is not. If the employee is required to work on the next rostered working day, they are entitled to be paid at public holiday rates of pay.

Example

Cassandra is a full time Chef who works from Friday to Tuesday each week.

In 2019 the Christmas Day public holiday falls on Wednesday 25 December 2019. As this is a non-working day for Cassandra, the public holiday is observed on her next rostered working day. Cassandra is therefore entitled to a paid day off on Friday 27 December 2019. If she is required to work on this day, public holiday pay rates will apply.

In 2019 the Boxing Day public holiday falls on Thursday 26 December 2019. As this is also a non-working day for Cassandra, the public holiday is observed on her next rostered working day, which in this case will be Saturday 28 December 2019 (Friday 27 December 2019 is already being observed as the Christmas Day public holiday).

Part time employees

Part time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays under the award, but who are not required to work because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day. If a part time employee is required to work on a public holiday, public holiday pay rates will apply.

If a part time employee would not normally be required to work on a designated public holiday, there are no additional public holiday entitlements.

Casual employees

Casual employees who are required to work on one or more days that are public holidays for the purposes of the award must be paid at public holiday rates. Casual employees will therefore be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Wednesday 25 December 2019
  • Thursday 26 December 2019
  • Wednesday 1 January 2020

Hairdressers Award employees

Overview

Under the Hairdressers Award, Wednesday 25 December 2019 is the public holiday for Christmas and Thursday 26 December 2019 is Boxing Day. Wednesday 1 January 2020 is the public holiday for New Year’s Day under the award.

Full time employees

Full time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays under the award, but who are not required to work because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day. If a full time employee is required to work on one or more of these days, public holiday pay rates will apply.

If a public holiday under the award falls on a full time employee’s non-working day (referred to as a ‘rostered day off’), then the rostered day off is to be taken on the employee’s next following working day, or, by mutual agreement, another day on the same week. Alternatively, the award allows the employer and employee to agree on the employee accumulating up to five rostered days off in any given year, which may be taken at a mutually agreed time.

Example 1

Nathan is a full time hairdresser and works Monday to Friday each week.

Under the award the Christmas Day public holiday is observed on Wednesday 25 December 2019, and the Boxing Day public holiday is observed on Thursday 26 December 2019. As Wednesday and Thursday are normal working days for Nathan, he is entitled to paid public holidays on those days. If he works on either of those days, public holiday pay rates will apply.

In 2020, New Year’s Day falls on a Wednesday. Under the award the New Year’s Day public holiday is observed on Wednesday 1 January 2020. As Wednesday is a normal working day for Nathan, he is entitled to a paid public holiday on that day. If he works on that day public holiday pay rates will apply.

Example 2

Luke is a full time hairdresser who works on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week (9.5 hours per day).

Under the award the Christmas Day public holiday is observed on Wednesday 25 December 2019. As Wednesday is a normal working day for Luke, he is entitled to a paid public holiday on that day. If he works on that day, public holiday pay rates will apply.

The Boxing Day public holiday is observed on Thursday 26 December, a non-working day for Luke (i.e. a rostered day off). Therefore, Luke is entitled to another paid day off on his next working day, which is Saturday 28 December 2019. Alternatively, Luke and his employer may agree the paid day off be taken at another mutually convenient time.

Under the award the New Year’s Day public holiday is observed on Wednesday 1 January 2020. As Wednesday is a working day for Luke, he is entitled to a paid day off. If he works on that day, public holiday pay rates will apply.

Part time employees

Part time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays under the award, but who are not required to work because it is a public holiday, are entitled to be paid for that day. If a part time employee is required to work on a public holiday, public holiday pay rates will apply.

If a part time employee would not normally be required to work on a designated public holiday, there are no additional public holiday entitlements.

Casual employees

Casual employees who are required to work on one or more days that are public holidays for the purpose of the award must be paid at public holiday rates. Casual employees will be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Wednesday 25 December 2019
  • Thursday 26 December 2019
  • Wednesday 1 January 2020

Retail Trading HoursFor information on retail trading hours see the Consumer Protection section of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

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