Employees have a right to be away from work on a public holiday.
Employers can request employees to work on a public holiday but they can no longer automatically roster them on.
The request to work has to be reasonable, and an employee can refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds.
The following should be taken into account when deciding if a request to work a public holiday, or an employee’s refusal to work a public holiday is reasonable:
- The nature of the workplace
- The role and type of work of the employee does
- Employee’s personal circumstances (including caring responsibilities)
- Employment status (full-time, part-time or casual)
- An expectation that they might be asked to work on the public holiday
- Any overtime, penalty rates or other payment the employee might receive
- The amount of notice provided
- Any other relevant factor.
For more information: Not working on public holidays – Fair Work Ombudsman