Employers urged to plan for Christmas holiday period
28 November 2011
With less than a month until the Christmas holiday period begins, businesses and organisations are being urged to ensure they are prepared for public holiday entitlements and shut down periods.
The Department of Labour has issued information advising people about the public holiday entitlements this year – with Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday.
“Employees are entitled to up to four public holidays during the festive season, depending on their work or shift pattern,” says the Department’s General Manager Business Process and Innovation, Tracy Mellor.
“We have updated our advice online for employers and employees so they can check their entitlements and clarify when the public holidays are observed,” Ms Mellor says.
“There will also be differences for casual and on-call workers and so a holidays and leave tool has been developed to work out employee entitlements.”
In 2010 an amendment to the Holidays Act saw changes to the treatment of holidays and leave during a mandatory closedown or shut down period.
“This means that if your business shuts down during the Christmas and New Year period with employees away on annual holidays then those employees are entitled to be paid for any public holidays that they would have otherwise have worked if the business was operating,” Ms Mellor says.
“We would strongly urge all employers to ensure proper processes are in place to ensure business continuity during the festive season and to make sure employees are aware of their entitlements.”