What an egg-cellent time of year! Easter brings not only an influx of chocolate and bunny ears, it also signals the start of a four-day weekend in some states and territories. There can’t be an Australian who doesn’t revel in the wonders of a public holiday; however, it can turn problematic for some employers. Before our brains clock off for the long weekend, we decided to outline Easter in each state and answer some frequently asked questions.

What are the Easter public holidays?


Good Friday – 30th March
Easter Saturday – 31st March
Easter Sunday – 1st April
Easter Monday – 2nd April

SA & NT:

Good Friday – 30th March
Easter Saturday – 31st March
Easter Monday – 2nd April


Good Friday – 30th March
Easter Monday – 2nd April

How are public holidays paid?

When a permanent employee is absent on a public holiday, you must pay them for their usual hours of work on that day. If your employee does not have usual hours of work falling on the public holiday, you do not have to pay them a thing! They simply get to enjoy the day like any other. Remember, that as an employer you cannot temporarily alter rosters to avoid paying public holiday pay.

What are employees paid if they work on a public holiday?

For some employees, Easter also creates working incentives to earn a little extra by working over the public holidays. These penalties depend on what modern award or Enterprise Agreement (EA) applies to the employee in question.

The award or EA will set out what public holiday rates apply for work on a public holiday, and whether they are entitled to any additional benefits such as a guaranteed number of working hours on the public holiday.

What happens if a public holiday falls during an employee’s leave?

There are the lucky ones amongst us who happen to be on leave over a public holiday. This public holiday does not count as leave. Therefore, it should not be deducted from the employee’s accrued leave and needs to be paid following the information outlined above.

However, if the leave is unpaid, in some circumstances the employee will not be entitled to payment.

In Summary

Slipping into a chocolate coma is a high priority for most this weekend, but if you decide to work or have employees to pay, following the guidelines above should ensure your Easter long weekend is stress free. Now all you will have to focus on is snatching up those after-Easter sales on Tuesday.

If you have any questions regarding modern award wages or public holidays, try a complimentary call to our telephone advisory service to get an HR question answered. To redeem your call, phone (02) 9083 0033 or contact us.