Christmas and New Years Holiday Pay

There is always some confusion about entitlement to holiday pay and/or  extra pay for workers on  public holidays such as Christmas Day and New Years Day or St  Patrick’s Day.

Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day are public holidays in Ireland . Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not.

  •  All workers are entitled to one of these :
    • A paid day off on the public holiday
    • An additional day of annual leave
    • An additional day’s pay
    • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

Note: Part-time workers must have worked for the employer for at least 40 hours in the previous five-week period to have a public holiday entitlement. (Some employers might not apply this rule if they are feeling generous.)

Full-time workers have immediate entitlement to benefit for public holidays regardless of how long they have worked for that employer.

If you work part-time and the public holiday falls on a day that you usually work – you are entitled to a day’s pay or a paid day off for the public holiday.
Part-time workers who are not rostered to work on a public holiday are still entitled to be paid or to paid time off for the public holiday.
Part-time workers get one-fifth of their normal pay for the week as compensation for the holiday. ( If your pay varies – then they should use an average of your day’s pay or the fifth of your weekly pay  over the last 13 weeks  before the public holiday.)

An Example :  A person works part-time from  Wednesday to Friday . This year Christmas Day falls on a Monday , St Stephens day on Tuesday and New Year’s Day  falls on the following  Monday.

In this case the person  should receive one-fifth of their  normal weekly pay for each of the three public holidays, Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. So they  should get the additional pay or the equivalent amount of time off. Your employer can decide which option to give you.

Working on a Public Holiday :

If you are required to work on a public holiday you are entitled to be paid at your usual rate and you are also entitled to either an additional day’s pay or an extra paid day off.

If an employee ceases to be employed during the week ending on the day before a public holiday, having worked during the 4 weeks preceding that week, he/she is entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.

The Organisation of Working Time Act provides that you may ask your employer at least 21 days before a public holiday, which of the alternatives will apply. If your employer fails to respond at least 14 days before the public holiday, you are entitled to take the actual public holiday as a paid day off.


Where a public holiday falls on a weekend, you do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work.

Other Public Holidays in Ireland –

St. Patrick’s Day (17th March)
Easter Monday
The first Monday in May
The first Monday in June
The first Monday in August
The last Monday in October

15 thoughts on “Christmas and New Years Holiday Pay

  1. Hi hubby on c e scheme when does he get double week was paid yesterday into ba
    Nk got 1week

  2. Hi

    I have to work on Dr Stephens Day this year and I was just wondering about the pay I’ll get

    I don’t know if I have worked 40 hours in the 5 weeks reading up to this

    So even if I work on the 27th I still have had to work 40 hours in the 5 weeks leading up to it to qualify for the holiday pay?

    There’s a question of me working on Christmas day so I want to make sure I qualify before I say I will

    • If you haven’t worked 40 hours or more in the previous 5 weeks – then you are not strictly entitled to any extra pay . But your employer might agree to pay you extra if you ask.

  3. If you get paid on Tuesday would the wages be through when the bank reopens on Thursday

    • It will depend on when your employer sends the wages to the Bank. Most employers will pay earlier for Christmas. You should check with them. They will need to send it to the bank by friday 22nd for it to be in accounts on Thurs 28th DEc.

      • She does the wages on a Monday normally and it’s in my account by Tuesday but because Christmas is on Monday she is doing the wages Tuesday so I presume it would be in my account by Thursday when the banks open

      • I doubt if it will be in your account by Thursday – the bank probably won’t process it until Thursday and it might not show in your account till Friday . If you are concerned you should ask your bank . Ideally your employer should process it this week if possible.

  4. My son has worked 75 hours in the last 5weeks but has been told he’ll only get paid time and a third for Christmas day

  5. I have worked 54 hours in the last three weeks and are in Christmas Eve and Stephans day am I entitled to more pay on stephans day ?

  6. Left work on the 19th Dec. Paid 5.5 days holidays. Am I entitled to Christmas Day and St stephens Day

  7. I worked over 40hours last week and 39 the previous . I am scheduled to work 27.5 paid hours next week. I’m off Christmas day and Stephens day. What am I entitled to?

  8. Hi I don’t normally work sun worked half day xmas eve what are my entitlements I am a full time worker

  9. Hi
    I was working days over weekend 7-19 (12h shift) and i was working night shift on monday from 17 -7 morning thusday. I was working 7 hours on monday and 7 hours on thusday.
    monday was 25 of december and thusday was 26 december. I am full time security working over 2 years with employer. My question is: am I in title for 2 extra pay days for bouth monday and thusday?

  10. I work 4 days a week , the shop is closedChristmas day st Stephen’s day and the following day , do I take the 3rd day as a day off , or work one day that week .I will get paid 4 days pay ??

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