Christmas - New Year 2021-2022 public holiday information

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Employee / workerEmployer

wa_image_small.jpg This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.

If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

The public holidays for the 2021–2022 Christmas – New Year period are:

  • Christmas Day - Saturday 25 December 2021 and Monday 27 December 2021
  • Boxing Day - Sunday 26 December 2021 and Tuesday 28 December 2021
  • New Year's Day - Saturday 1 January 2022 and Monday 3 January 2022

When Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Saturday the following Monday is also a public holiday and when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday the following Tuesday is also a public holiday under the Public and Bank Holidays Act 1972. However, employment entitlements for public holidays will vary based on an employee's award coverage and employment arrangements. 

Get the right information

This page provides information on which dates are observed as the public holidays for employers and employees covered by key WA awards, and detailed information on public holiday arrangements and examples for:

  • Award free employees
  • Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award
  • Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award
  • Hairdressers Award

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

Please note, Wageline will be closed from Monday 27 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 and reopen on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

Christmas - New Year 2021–2022 arrangements under key WA awards

View the Christmas - New Year 2021–2022 award arrangements publication for information on which dates are observed as the public holidays for employers and employees covered by key WA awards. For other WA awards, view the award on the WA Industrial Relations Commission website.

Award free employees

Overview

For award free employees:

  • Saturday 25 December 2021 is the Christmas Day public holiday.
  • Sunday 26 December 2021 is the Boxing Day public holiday.
  • Saturday 1 January 2022 is the New Year’s Day public holiday.

Monday 27 December 2021, Tuesday 28 December 2021 and Monday 3 January 2022 are not considered public holidays for award free employees under the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993.

Full time and part time employees

Award free full time and part time employees who would normally work on Saturday 25 December 2021, Sunday 26 December 2021 and/or Saturday 1 January 2022, 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.

If a business does not trade on Monday 27 December 2021, Tuesday 28 December 2021 and/or Monday 3 January 2022, employers may still have a contractual obligation to pay full time and part time employees for any hours they would normally have worked on that day if the business was open. Whether such an obligation arises will depend on the details of any contract of employment the employee has entered into, including any provisions it contains for the rostering of hours, and whether it guarantees payment for a particular number of hours work per week.

Visit the Minimum pay rates for award free employees page for minimum rates of pay. 

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.

Visit the Minimum pay rates for award free employees page for minimum rates of pay. 

Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award employees

Overview

Under the Shop and Warehouse Award:

  • Monday 27 December 2021 is the Christmas Day public holiday, as under this WA award when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is observed on the following Monday.
  • Tuesday 28 December 2021 is the Boxing Day public holiday, as under this WA award when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is observed on the following Tuesday.
  • Monday 3 January 2022 is the New Year’s Day public holiday, as under this WA award when New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is observed on the following Monday.

If the business is trading on Saturday 25 December 2021, Sunday 26 December 2021 and/or Saturday 1 January 2022 standard weekend pay rates will apply, as these days are not considered public holidays under the Shop and Warehouse Award.

Full time employees

Full 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 employee is required to work on one or more of these days, public holiday pay rates will apply. See the Shop and Warehouse Award WA award summary for public holiday rates of pay.

Full time employees are entitled to be paid for 38 hours per week or 76 hours per fortnight, regardless of whether or not the business is open. If an employer is not intending to open on a particular day/s they would normally trade, and that day/s is not a public holiday, they may be able to roster employees to work alternative days or times to provide them with their regular number of hours, or alternatively they may agree on the employee accessing annual leave instead.

The Shop and Warehouse Award provides that when any of the days that are public holidays under the WA award falls on a full time employee’s non-working day (known as a ’rostered day off’) the 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;
  • another day shall be allowed with pay within 28 days; or
  • have another day added to their annual leave entitlement.

Example 1

Ahmad is a full time employee who works Tuesday to Saturday each week. Monday is therefore a rostered day off for Ahmad. In 2021, the Christmas Day public holiday under the award (Monday 27 December) falls on Ahmad's rostered day off. To compensate for this, Ahmad and his employer can agree that Ahmad:

  • receives payment of an additional day's wages;
  • takes another paid day off within 28 days; or
  • has another day added to his annual leave entitlement.

Example 2

Harriet works 19 days over a four week cycle (8 hours per day) and has an additional rostered day off every fourth Monday. In 2022, the New Year’s Day public holiday under the Shop and Warehouse Award (Monday 3 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
  • has another day added to her annual leave entitlement.

The Shop and Warehouse Award also provides that when a public holiday falls on a day that an 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 example illustrates how this works.

Example 3

Sue Lee is a full time employee who works 38 hours per week. One fifth of Sue Lee’s ordinary weekly hours are therefore 7.6 hours (38 divided by 5). Sue Lee normally works 6 hours on a Monday.

Sue Lee’s employer is closed on Monday 3 January 2022 due to the New Year’s Day public holiday. Sue Lee is entitled to be paid for the 6 hours she would normally have worked on that Monday.  Additionally, 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 6 hours) Sue Lee is entitled to paid time off duty equivalent to 1.6 hours. This time off duty represents the difference between the time she usually works on a Monday (6 hours) and one fifth of her ordinary weekly hours (7.6 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.

Part time employees

Part time employees who would normally be required to work on Monday 27 December 2021, Tuesday 28 December 2021 and/or Monday 3 January 2022, 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 those days, public holiday pay rates will apply.

The Shop and Warehouse Award also provides that when a public holiday falls on a day that an 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 example illustrates how this works.

Example 4

Jeremy is a part time employee who works an average of 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 Monday.

Jeremy’s employer is closed on Monday 27 December 2021 due to the Christmas Day public holiday. Jeremy is entitled to be paid for the 4 hours he would normally have worked on that Monday, 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 Monday (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.

If a part time employee would not normally be required to work on Monday 27 December 2021, Tuesday 28 December 2021 and/or Monday 3 January 2022 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 must be paid at public holiday rates.  Casual employees under the Shop and Warehouse Award will be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Monday 27 December 2021
  • Tuesday 28 December 2021
  • Monday 3 January 2022

Public holiday pay rates for casual employees are listed in the Shop and Warehouse Award WA award summary

Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Award employees

Overview

Under the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award, when a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday the public holiday is observed on that actual day. This means that for the purposes of this WA award:

  • Saturday 25 December 2021 is the Christmas Day public holiday
  • Sunday 26 December 2021 is the Boxing Day public holiday
  • Saturday 1 January 2022 is the New Year’s Day public holiday

If the business is trading on Monday 27 December 2021, Tuesday 28 December 2021 and/or Monday 3 January 2022 standard weekday rates of pay will apply, as these days are not considered public holidays for the purposes of the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers 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 Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers 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.

Public holiday pay rates for full time employees are listed in the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award WA award summary

Full time employees are entitled to be paid for 76 hours per fortnight, regardless of whether or not the business is open. If an employer is not intending to open on a particular day/s they would normally trade, and that day/s is not a public holiday, they may be able to roster employees to work alternative days or times to provide them with their regular number of hours, or alternatively they may agree on the employee accessing annual leave instead.

If any public holiday under the Restaurant Tearoom and Catering Workers 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 Monday to Friday each week.

In 2021, the Christmas Day public holiday falls on Saturday 25 December 2021. 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 Monday 27 December 2021. If she is required to work on this day, public holiday pay rates will apply.

In 2021, the Boxing Day public holiday falls on Sunday 26 December 2021. As this is also a non-working day for Cassandra, she is entitled to a paid day off on Tuesday 28 December (note it is not Monday 27 December 2021, as this day is observed for the Christmas Day public holiday). If Cassandra is required to work on this 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 Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers 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.

Public holiday pay rates for part time employees are listed in the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award WA award summary

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 Restaurant Tearoom and Catering Workers Award must be paid at public holiday rates. Casual employees will be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Saturday 25 December 2021
  • Sunday 26 December 2021
  • Saturday 1 January 2022

Public holiday pay rates for casual employees are listed in the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award WA award summary

Hairdressers Award employees

Overview

Under the Hairdressers Award:

  • Monday 27 December 2021 is the Christmas Day public holiday, as under this WA award when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is observed on the following Monday.
  • Tuesday 28 December 2021 is the Boxing Day public holiday, as under this WA award when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is observed on the following Tuesday.
  • Monday 3 January 2022 is the New Year’s Day public holiday, as under this WA award when New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday, the public holiday is observed on the following Monday.

If the business is trading on Saturday 25 December 2021, Sunday 26 December 2021 and/or Saturday 1 January 2022 standard weekend pay rates will apply, as these days are not considered public holidays under the Hairdressers 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 Hairdressers 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.

Public holiday pay rates for full time employees are listed in the Hairdressers Award WA award summary.

Full time employees are entitled to be paid for 38 hours per week or 76 hours per fortnight, regardless of whether or not the business is open. If an employer is not intending to open on a particular day/s they would normally trade, and that day/s is not a public holiday, they may be able to roster employees to work alternative days or times to provide them with their regular number of hours, or alternatively they may agree on the employee accessing annual leave instead.

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

Luke is a full time hairdresser who works Tuesday to Saturday each week.

The Christmas Day public holiday is observed on Monday 27 December 2021, 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 Wednesday 29 December 2021 (note it is not Tuesday 28 December 2021 as this day is a public holiday under the award). Alternatively, Luke and his employer may agree the paid day off be taken at another mutually convenient time.

The Boxing Day public holiday is observed on Tuesday 28 December 2021, and as this is a normal working day for Luke, he is entitled to a paid public holiday on that day. If he works on this day, public holiday pay rates will apply.

The New Year’s Day public holiday is observed on Monday 3 January 2022, which is 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 Tuesday 4 January 2022. Alternatively, Luke and his employer may agree the paid day off be taken at another mutually convenient time.

Part time employees

Part time employees who would normally be required to work on one or more of the designated public holidays under the Hairdressers 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.

Public holiday pay rates for part time employees are listed in the Hairdressers Award WA award summary.

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 Hairdressers Award must be paid at public holiday rates. Casual employees will be entitled to public holiday rates of pay on the following days:

  • Monday 27 December 2021
  • Tuesday 28 December 2021
  • Monday 3 January 2022

Public holiday pay rates for casual employees are listed in the Hairdressers Award WA award summary.

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

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