Bank Holiday Pay in Ireland

There is always some confusion about entitlement to holiday pay and/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.

Full List of 2019 Public Holidays in Ireland

On  a Public Holiday ….

  •  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

Full-time workers have immediate entitlement to benefit 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.  (But some employers might not apply this rule if they are feeling generous.)

If you work part-time and the public holiday falls on a day that you usually work – then 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 should get one-fifth of their normal weekly pay for the  as compensation for the holiday. ( If your pay varies – then the emplyer should use an average of your weekly pay  over the last 13 weeks  before the public holiday and divide it by five.)

An Example :  A person works part-time from Wednesday to Friday . So when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday  (i.e Christmas Day 2018)  –  the person  should receive one-fifth of their  normal weekly pay for that day OR  they  should get 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.

Full List of 2019 Public Holidays in Ireland –

Good Friday is not a public holiday in Ireland.

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