Advice Christmas

Public Holiday Pay over Christmas and New Year

Christmas is coming, and it’s a good idea to be thinking about your staff’s roster and their public holiday pay over Christmas and New Year.

Most employees are entitled to four public holidays at Christmas. Depending on their usual days of work, 25, 26, 27, 28 December; and 1, 2, 3 and 4 January are potentially public holidays.

The 27 December and 3 January holidays are Mondayised which means that your employees whose normal working day is a Saturday or Monday will be entitled to the public holiday. The 28 December and 4 January is Tuesdayised, an employee whose normal working day is a Sunday or Tuesday will be entitled to the public holiday. However, they are only entitled to one public holiday entitlement, not two for the same holiday so they will receive either of:

  • Christmas Day – Saturday 25 December or Monday 27 December 2021
  • Boxing Day – Sunday 26 December or Tuesday 28 December 2021
  • New Years Day – Saturday 1 January or Monday 3 January 2022
  • Day after New Years Day – Sunday 2 January or Tuesday 4 January 2022

For example: an employee whose normal working days are Sunday and Tuesday, works Boxing Day, Sunday 26 December and receives time and a half for the hours worked plus a day in lieu. They then work the Tuesday (Boxing Day Tuesdayised) but are paid their normal rate for the hours worked. They do not receive public holiday entitlements for the Tuesday 28 December because they have already received this for the Sunday.

An employee whose normal working days are Saturday and Monday, does not work Christmas Day as you are closed, they receive a paid day off for the public holiday. They then work Monday (Christmas Day Mondayised) but are paid their normal rate for the hours worked. They do not receive a public holiday entitlement for the Monday 27 December because they already received this for the Saturday.

An employee whose normal working days are Monday to Friday, but they have agreed to work Sunday the 26 December (Boxing Day) will be paid normal payment rates for Sunday 26 December and then receive either a paid day off on Tuesday or receive time and a half plus a day in lieu if they also work the Tuesday.


If the public holiday falls on an ‘otherwise working day’ for your employee, you are required either to:

  1. give them a paid day off; or
  2. to pay time and a half and give them an alternative day off.

If the public holiday is not an otherwise working day, but the employee works, you need to pay him or her time and a half, but you are not required to provide a day in lieu of the public holiday. If the public holiday is Mondayised or Tuesdayised and these observed days are otherwise working days for the employee, they receive their public holiday entitlement on their normal work day. Even if they work on the actual public holiday (Saturday or Sunday) in the case when this is not an otherwise working day, they receive normal pay for the Saturday or Sunday.

Read more about paying your staff over the upcoming public holidays.


If you have any questions about public holiday pay over Christmas and New Year, our Advice Service is here to help. Email us at [email protected], or give us a call on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia).



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