Easter Sunday public holiday

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Easter Sunday is now a public holiday in Western Australia.  

The Public and Bank Holidays Act 1972, which specifies public holidays for Western Australia, was amended by the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2021 to make Easter Sunday a public holiday. These provisions commenced on 12 Februrary 2022.

This brings Western Australia into alignment with Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, which all observe Easter Sunday as a public holiday.

For employers and employees in the state industrial relations system, the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 has been amended to recognise Easter Sunday as a public holiday. This ensures that full time and part time employees who are not required to work on Easter Sunday, solely because that day is a public holiday, are entitled to their usual pay.

Implementation arrangements have also been introduced for state system employees covered by WA awards and industrial agreements, which are detailed below.

For employers and employees in the national industrial relations system, the Fair Work Act 2009 and national modern awards will automatically recognise the new Easter Sunday public holiday.

The dates for the Easter Sunday public holiday and all Western Australian public holidays, are available on the Public holidays page.

Implementation arrangements for state system employees

Implementation arrangements concerning Easter Sunday have been introduced in the Public and Bank Holidays Act to ensure that WA awards, industrial agreements and other state industrial instruments that deal with public holidays immediately recognise the new Easter Sunday public holiday.

Employees who are required to work on Easter Sunday are therefore entitled to receive any applicable public holiday penalty rates in their WA award or agreement on this day, rather than normal Sunday pay rates.

The Easter Sunday public holiday will be observed on Easter Sunday itself, rather than some alternative day. 

Any provision in a WA award, industrial agreement or other state industrial instrument that would substitute the Easter Sunday public holiday to another day solely because the public holiday falls on a weekend is of no effect (substitution of weekend public holidays to the following Monday is common in WA awards). However, provisions that would substitute the Easter Sunday public holiday to another day for some other reason, for example, because it falls on an employee’s rostered day off, will continue to operate as set out in the WA award, industrial agreement or other state industrial instrument.

Example 1

Clause 14(1)(a) of the Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award lists certain days that are to be paid public holidays, while clause 13(6) provides that work performed on a public holiday must be paid for at the rate of double time and a half. Under the implementation arrangements, full time and part time employees who would normally work on Easter Sunday are entitled to a paid public holiday, or if they are required to work, they are entitled to be paid double time and a half.

Clause 14(1)(b) of the Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award substitutes public holidays to the ‘next succeeding Monday’ where they fall on a Saturday or Sunday. Under the implementation arrangements, this does not apply in the case of Easter Sunday.

Example 2

Clause 17(1)(b) of the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award provides that where a public holiday falls on an employee’s rostered day off, the holiday is ‘observed on the next rostered working day’. The implementation provisions do not affect substitution in this instance, as the reason for the substitution is not because Easter Sunday falls on a weekend, but because it falls on a rostered day off. The Easter Sunday public holiday would therefore be observed on the employee’s next rostered working day.

Visit the Easter 2022 public holiday entitlements page for employment arrangements for state system employees.

 

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