There can be some confusion about entitlement to holiday pay or extra pay for workers on bank holidays or public holidays such as Christmas Day , New Years Day, Good Friday or St Patrick’s Day.
Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day are public holidays in Ireland .
Good Friday, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not public holidays.
On a Public Holiday ….
- All workers are entitled to one of these benefits :
- 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
Covid-19 : If you are laid off because of Covid-19 – you are entitled to any public holiday pay or leave for any public holidays that occur during the first 113 weeks of layoff. Although some employees might agree to waive this entitlement to help employers.
You do not accrue annual leave during lay off but you are entitled to take annual leave that you accrued before being laid off.
Full-time workers have immediate entitlement to these benefits for public holidays regardless of how long they have worked for that employer.
Part-time workers must have worked for the employer for at least 40 hours in the previous five-week period to have one of these a public holiday entitlements. ( That is a TOTAL of 40 hours in the past 5 weeks – NOT 40 hours per week.)
Even when a public holiday falls on a day which is not a normal working day for the business (eg. a Saturday or Sunday) employees still have entitlement to benefit.
Where the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee normally works, the employee is entitled to a full day’s pay for the public holiday. (As if they had done their normal hours on that day.)
Where the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee does not normally work, the employee is entitled to one fifth of his/her normal weekly wage for the public holiday.
(If weekly pay varies – then the employer should use an average of the weekly pay over the last 13 weeks prior to the public holiday and divide it by five.)
Example s :
- A person works 4 days a week ( Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon) 12 hours a day. A public holiday falls on a Monday and they are required to work the usual 12 hours . They are entitled to 24 hours pay.
- A person works 4 days a week ( Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon) 12 hours a day. A public holiday falls on a Monday and they are not required to work. They are entitled to 12 hours pay.
- A person works part-time from Thursday to Saturday. A Public holiday falls on a Wednesday which is not one of their normal working days. (i.e Christmas Day 2019). They do not work on that day. The worker should
receive one-fifth of their normal weekly pay for Christmas Day OR they shouldget the equivalent amount of time off. The employer can decide which option to give you.
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.
If you are not getting your public holiday entitlement you may make a complaint under the Organisation of Working Time Act within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the online complaint form from workplacerelations.ie.