2023 Public Holidays in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

2023 Public Holidays in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

Table of content

  1. What are the public holidays in Australia?
  2. Public holidays 2023
  3. Pay and wages on public holiday
  4. How does Workstem solve leave management problems?

What are the public holidays in Australia?

Public holidays form part of the National Employment Standards (NES),and are a mix of nationally celebrated days and holidays specific to each state and territory.

They are non-working days, and workers typically receive full paid leave apart from their annual leave. Those who work on public holidays receive additional penalty rates of pay.

When a public holiday falls on a weekend, it is generally observed on the following Monday. If a public holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, the three-day period is colloquially referred to as a “long weekend.”

Public holidays 2023

The nationally recognised public holidays are:

Public holiday

Date

New Year’s Day

Sunday, 1 January

Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day

Monday, 2 January

Australia Day

Thursday, 26 January

Good Friday

Friday, 7 April

Day following Good Friday

Saturday, 8 April

Easter Sunday

Sunday, 9 April

Easter Monday

Monday, 10 April

Anzac Day

Tuesday, 25 April

Christmas Day

Monday, 25 December

Boxing Day

Tuesday, 26 December

Other public holidays declared by the state and territory governments:

Australian Capital Territory

Public holiday

Date

Canberra Day

Monday, 13 March

Reconciliation Day

Monday, 29 May

Sovereign’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June

Labour Day

Monday, 2 October

New South Wales

Public holiday

Date

King’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June

Labour Day

Monday, 2 October

Northern Territory

Public holiday

Date

May Day Monday, 1 May

King’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June
Alice Springs Show Day*

Friday, 7 July

Tennant Creek Show Day*

Friday, 14 July

Katherine Show Day*

Friday, 21 July

Darwin Show Day*

Friday, 28 July
Picnic Day

Monday, 7 August

Borroloola Show Day*

Friday, 18 August

*Regional observance only

Queensland

Public holiday

Date

Labour Day

Monday, 1 May
Ekka Wednesday*

Wednesday, 16 August

King’s Birthday

Monday, 2 October

*Brisbane only

South Australia

Public holiday

Date

Adelaide Cup Day

Monday, 13 March

Ekka Wednesday*

Wednesday, 16 August

King’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June

Labour Day

Monday, 2 October

Proclamation Day

Tuesday, 26 December

Tasmania

Public holiday

Date

Devonport Cup* Wednesday, 11 January

Royal Hobart Regatta*

Monday, 13 February

Launceston Cup*

Wednesday, 22 February

King Island Show*

Tuesday, 7 March

Eight Hours Day

Monday, 11 March

Eight Hours Day

Monday, 11 March
Easter Tuesday**

Tuesday, 11 April

AGFEST*

Friday, 5 May

King’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June

Burnie Show*

Friday, 6 October

Royal Launceston Show*

Thursday, 12 October

Flinders Island Show*

Friday, 20 October

Royal Hobart Show*

Thursday, 26 October

Recreation Day*

Monday, 6 November

Devonport Show*

Friday, 1 December

*Regional observance only

**Restricted public holiday in Tasmania. Observed by some awards/agreements and the State Public Service

Victoria

Public holiday

Date

Labour Day

Monday, 13 March

Saturday before Easter Sunday

Saturday, 8 April
King’s Birthday

Monday, 12 June

AFL Grand Final Friday

TBA

Melbourne Cup Day

Tuesday, 7 November:

Western Australia

Public holiday

Date
Labour Day

Monday, 6 March

Western Australia Day

Monday, 5 June

King’s Birthday

Monday, 25 September

*Regional areas in Western Australia may celebrate the King’s Birthday Public Holiday on an alternative date

Notes:These are the 2023 public holidays in Australia, but dates may change. Check the Australian government’s public holiday schedule for updates.

Pay and wages on public holiday

Working on public holiday

Employees get paid at least their base pay rate for all hours worked on public holidays.

When working on a public holiday, an employee is entitled to receive a higher rate of pay than their normal hourly rate. This is commonly referred to as “public holiday rates” or “penalty rates”.

The exact rate of pay will depend on the employee’s award or enterprise agreement  (EA), as well as the specific public holiday in question.

To calculate the public holiday rate, you will need to know the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay and the applicable penalty rate for the public holiday.

For example: 

Lily’s ordinary hourly rate is AU$35, and the penalty rate for the public holiday is 250%,

She should be paid AU$87.50 per hour worked on public holiday (AU$35 x 250% = AU$87.50).

Not working on public holiday

Employees (except casual employees) who normally work on the day a public holiday falls will be paid their base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not been away because of the public holiday.

The base pay rate doesn’t include:

  • any incentive-based payments
  • bonuses
  • loadings
  • monetary allowances
  • overtime or
  • penalty rates.

Condition

Example

Ordinary hours and overtime hours falling on a public holiday John is a full-time employee who usually works overtime on Wednesdays and gets paid extra for these hours.

On New Year’s Day, a public holiday, he doesn’t work but still receives his regular pay for the standard hours he would have worked. He doesn’t get overtime pay as he didn’t work any extra hours on the public holiday.

No ordinary hours on a public holiday John is a part-time employee who works from Monday to Wednesday every week.

Since Boxing Day falls on a Friday this year, John won’t be paid for the public holiday since he isn’t rostered to work on Fridays.

Public holidays during a period of annual leave Alex, a full-time employee, has planned 10 days of annual leave, including Anzac Day, which falls on a Monday.

Since Alex works on Mondays, they will be paid for the public holiday, and only 9 days will be deducted from their annual leave balance.

Unpaid leave and public holidays If an employee is on unpaid leave during a public holiday, they will not be paid for that holiday.

How does Workstem solve leave management problems?

Workstem solves leave management problems with intelligent leave management. We support automatic updates of public holidays, customised leave policies and types, quick application and approval, and real-time tracking of leave balances.

Plus, the payroll management automatically calculates holiday payments through AI engines, simplify the payroll process and avoid miscalculations.

Experience the benefits of Workstem for yourself!

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