With the Spring Racing Carnival upon us, the issue of Staff Leave becomes highlighted especially when public holidays fall on a Tuesday such as Melbourne Cup Day.
As Employers, it is a good idea to remind your team about your Company Leave Policy a few weeks out from these events via email or during Staff Meetings to ensure that you are adequately staffed over this period.
Many Employers allow a percentage of Employees to take the Monday off as an annual leave day before Melbourne Cup Day creating a 4-day weekend. This can be rotated each year so all Employees are given the opportunity to benefit from this whilst ensuring the workplace can still function.
This kind of Company flexibility can help to decrease the amount of ‘sick leave’ scenarios that can sometimes occur over the Spring Racing season, which can have further consequences relating to team morale and performance management.
At times however, there are reasonable grounds for requesting or refusing to work on a public holiday.
In determining whether a request (or a refusal of such a request) to work on a public holiday is reasonable, the following must be taken into account:
- The nature of the employer’s workplace and the nature of the work performed by the employee
- The employee’s personal circumstances
- Whether the employee could reasonably expect that the employer might request work on the public holiday
- Whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates, additional remuneration or other compensation that reflects an expectation of work on the public holiday
- The type of employment (e.g. full-time, casual etc)
- The amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employer when making the request
- The amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employee in refusing the request
- If an employee is absent from work on a day that is a public holiday, the employer must pay the employee (other than a casual employee) the base rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours of work on that day. The base rate of pay to be paid excludes incentive-based payments and bonuses, any loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates, or any other separately identifiable amounts.
It is essential to note however that an employee is not entitled to payment if they do not have ordinary hours of work on the public holiday- for example, a part-time employee is not entitled to payment if their part-time hours do not include the day of the week on which the public holiday falls.
In conclusion, Public Holidays should be enjoyed by all, especially over the Spring Racing Carnival! To reduce any stress relating to Employee Leave Entitlements, it is essential for Company Polices and Procedures to be up to date.
If you require further assistance in this area, please call HR Central – we would love to hear from you!
1300 717 721