Christmas Public Holiday Rates: Your Ultimate Guide

Christmas Public Holiday Rates: Your Ultimate Guide

Table of content

  1. What are public holiday rates?
  2. Public holiday pay rates
  3. Public holiday rates for popular awards
  4. How to calculate public holiday rates for Christmas?
  5. Streamline public holiday rates calculations with automated payroll software

Employers in industries like retail, hospitality, restaurants, and more must stay informed about public holidays and their specific rates to ensure proper compensation and holiday entitlements for employees.

Public holiday rates can vary across different states in Australia.To learn more about public holidays specific to your state, refer to 2023 Public Holidays in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide.

Being informed about public holiday rates enables employers to fulfil their obligations and provide suitable holiday benefits, especially during busy periods like Christmas. Adhering to public holiday rates ensures fair compensation and compliance with labour laws, promoting employee satisfaction.

What are public holiday rates?

The public holiday rates in Australia are incredibly varied. The rate an employee is paid for working on a public holiday depends on their applicable Modern Award, enterprise agreement or individual contract.

Public holiday pay rates

Public holiday rates, also known as penalty rates, are set by the award classification of the employee. These rates ensure that employees receive higher compensation than their regular pay rate for working on public holidays.

However, the entitlements for public holiday pay can vary for full-time, part-time, and casual employees.

Full-Time 

Full-time employees who typically work on a public holiday are entitled to a paid day off. This means that if a full-time employee does not work on a public holiday, they should be paid their minimum pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they were not absent due to the public holiday.

On the other hand, if a full-time employee works on a public holiday, they are entitled to be paid at the relevant public holiday rate, which includes a penalty rate.

Learn more: Full Time

Part-Time

Most awards stipulate that part-time employees are entitled to receive public holiday rates at a penalty rate for the hours they work on a public holiday.

However, the specific conditions may vary depending on the award or enterprise agreement applicable to your business.

In general, part time employees are typically entitled to receive public holiday rates at a penalty rate for hours worked on a public holiday.

Learn more: Part Time

Casual

Casual employees are typically entitled to receive a penalty rate for the hours they work on a public holiday according to most awards.

However, they usually do not receive payment for public holidays they don’t work. Specific entitlements may vary based on the conditions outlined in your award or enterprise agreement.

Learn more: Casual

Public holiday rates for popular awards

Award Type

Full-time & Part-time

Casual

Hospitality Industry

225% of their base hourly rate on public holidays

(base hourly rate x 2.25 ‘double time and a quarter’)

250% of their base hourly rate on public holidays

(base hourly rate x 2.50 ‘double time and a half’)

General Retail Industry

Fast Food Industry

Restaurant Industry

Pharmacy Industry

Health Professionals 250% of their base hourly rate on public holidays

(base hourly rate x 2.50 ‘double time and a half’)

250% of their base hourly rate on public holidays

(base hourly rate x 2.50 ‘double time and a half’)

Registered and Licensed Clubs

*Please visit the Fair Work website for details on public holiday rates and penalty rates applicable to your award.

How to calculate public holiday rates for Christmas?

To calculate public holiday rates for Christmas, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine the base hourly rate: Refer to the employee’s award or employment agreement to find the base hourly rate. This rate will vary depending on the employee’s classification and can be different for each individual.
  2. Identify the multiple for the public holiday rate: Determine the specific multiple that applies to the Christmas public holiday. This multiple will depend on your organisation’s policies or the regulations set forth by labour laws. For example, it could be 1.5x, 2x, or any other specified rate.
  3. Calculate the public holiday rate: Multiply the base hourly rate by the multiple identified in the previous step. The resulting amount will be the public holiday rate for Christmas.

For example, let’s say the employee’s base hourly rate is AU$20, and the public holiday rate for Christmas is 2x. The calculation would be as follows:

Public holiday rate for Christmas = Base hourly rate * Multiple
= AU$20 * 2
= AU$40

Therefore, the public holiday rate for Christmas would be AU$40 per hour.

Note: Consult labour laws for specific public holiday pay rates.

Streamline public holiday rates calculations with automated payroll software

Simplify your payroll process and ensure accurate public holiday rates with Workstem’s automated payroll system.

Our pre-built modern award interpretation software keeps you up-to-date with penalty rates and award entitlements.

Choose between our Standard and Advanced plans, and enjoy a range of benefits such as Fair Work compliance, an employee self-service App, and customised rule-set.

Book a free demo with our payroll experts. Experience the efficiency and accuracy of Workstem today!

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