Easter is just around the corner… don’t inadvertently underpay your employees.

Easter is just around the corner… don’t inadvertently underpay your employees.

With the Easter holiday season fast approaching; it can be a busy time when you are scheduling staff to make sure your customers get the service they have come to expect from your business.

You just need to remember to correctly pay any of your employees who work over Easter; and ensure you do not inadvertently underpay them.

It is timely for you to clarify the correct pay rates and which penalty rates apply to your industry or award during the Easter public holiday weekend.

As you will already know, pay rates depend on whether your workers are full-time, part-time or casual; as well as their age and level, not to mention their applicable award category. For  clarification on your employee or workforces applicable awards, contact Akyra.

Every award prescribes penalty rates for Saturday and Sunday work, as well as a penalty rate for work on public holidays; it is easy to misunderstand which penalty rate applies for the hours worked.

So, which days are classified as a public holiday during Easter?

Complicating the matter is whether a day during the Easter period is considered a public holiday or not. This depends on which state or territory your business operates in, as sections 114 – 116 of the Fair Work Act 2009 operate in conjunction with state or territory public holiday legislation.

The Fair Work Act states that Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in all states and territories, but state and territory laws differ with regard to whether Easter Saturday and Sunday are declared to be public holidays.

In Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, every day over the Easter weekend is a public holiday – this year; it is Friday 2 April, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 5 April, so staff should be paid according to public holiday rates on all of those days.

However, in South Australia, Easter Sunday is not deemed to be a public holiday, so normal Sunday pay rates apply on Sunday 4 April in South Australia, while public holiday rates apply on the Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Section 115(b) of the Fair Work Act states that any day declared as a public holiday by a state or territory government is to be observed as a public holiday in that state, territory, or a region of that state or territory. This means work performed on that holiday will be paid at the appropriate public holiday penalty rate prescribed by the applicable award or enterprise agreement.

Where a permanent employee (full-time or part-time) does not work on a public holiday but would normally have worked were it not for the public holiday, that employee is to be paid for any such hours.

It can be a daunting prospect for businesses and managers to not only know where to start, but how to manage the award and public holiday rates of employees entirely, not to mention the implications if you get it wrong.

Every industry and business will have unique requirements, awards and penalty rates which apply; for further guidance or advice on human resource management contact the Akyra team.

Contact us now to book a time to discuss your areas of potential HR concern so we can confirm a way forward where it might be needed.

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Disclaimer – Reliance on Content

The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not and is not intended to be, legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.

Sources:  Hradvanceprofessional.com.au, March 2021.

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