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When a public holiday falls within a leave period

What happens when a public holiday falls within a period of leave such as annual, sick and bereavement leave or during a business close-down period.

During a business close-down period

If a business has a close-down period that includes public holidays, for example, over the Christmas and New Year period, then the employee is entitled to a paid public holiday if they would have normally worked on that day if the closedown was not in effect.

During annual holidays

If an employee is on annual leave when there’s a public holiday, they get a paid public holiday if they would have normally worked on that day, and do not lose an annual leave day.


Julie is full-time and works Monday to Friday. She takes two weeks’ annual leave from 16 to 30 April, which means that ANZAC Day falls during her annual leave. Julie will be paid her relevant daily pay or average daily pay for the ANZAC Day public holiday and won’t lose an annual leave day for that day. If ANZAC day falls on a weekend day, because Julie doesn’t work at weekends, ANZAC Day would be Mondayised for Julie and she would get payment for the public holiday for the Monday.

During parental leave

If an employee is on parental leave and a public holiday falls within that leave, the employer doesn’t have to pay for the public holiday because the employee would not have normally worked on that day.

If the employee is getting a parental leave payment over a week when there is a public holiday, the payment amount and number of weeks they get a payment for is not affected by the public holiday.

If an employee is sick or bereaved

When an employee would have worked on a public holiday but is sick or bereaved, the day is treated as a paid unworked public holiday and:

  • the employee would be paid their relevant daily pay or average daily pay, but would not be entitled to time and a half or an alternative holiday
  • no sick or bereavement leave is deducted.

Use our Relevant and Average daily pay calculator (external link) to work out entitlements for public holidays, and sickness and bereavement leave.

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