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