Christmas 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. ( That is a TOTAL of 40 hours in the past 5 weeks – NOT 40 hours per week.) 

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 as compensation for the holiday. ( If your pay varies – then the employer should use an average of your weekly pay  over the last 13 weeks prior to the public holiday and divide it by five.)

An Example :  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).
The worker should receive one-fifth of their normal weekly pay for that day OR they should get the equivalent amount of time off. The 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 2019/2020 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

6 thoughts on “Christmas Holiday Pay in Ireland

  1. Hi , just a question here , I’m working a year + in a take away and I was working every bank holiday since, never being paid more then normal wages , do they have the right to do so? Thanks .

    • Iulian – as it states in the article – 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.
      This applies as long as you have worked 40 hours or more in the preceeding month.

  2. I am curious about something,
    I have recently worked a bank holiday and received double pay for this. however i did not receive the additional benefit of 8 hours (bank holiday pay). i recall receiving this before, so my pay slip would show 12 hours bank holiday paid as 24 hours (double time) and an additional 8 hours labelled as 8 hours bank holiday i.e. the benefit. this time however, i only received the double time and no 8 hours bank holiday, is this right??

  3. Hi if I worked Easter bank holiday Monday when should I get paid for this

  4. Hi guys, just look for advice. My employer has paid me for Good Friday for the last several years. My manager has informed me this evening at 5.45pm on the day before Good Friday, in order to be paid for tomorrow, i have to choose either taking one of my annual leave days or working next Saturday week. I normally work from Monday to Friday from 10.30am – 6.30pm. Is my employer entitled to request this and request it at such late notice? Thanks.

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

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