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Public holidays

There are 10 public holidays each year.

These are:

  • Christmas day
  • St Stephen’s day
  • St Patrick’s day
  • Easter Monday
  • first Monday in May, June, August
  • last Monday in October
  • New Year's day
  • St Brigid's day (first Monday in February except where 1 February falls on a Friday, that Friday 1 February will be a public holiday)

Staff entitled to public holidays

All permanent and temporary employees who work full-time get public holiday benefits.

If you work on a casual or part-time basis, you must have worked at least 40 hours during the 5-week period before the public holiday.

Your employer will decide what your entitlement for the public holiday day is.

In lieu of a public holiday you can get one of the following:

  • a paid day off on the public holiday
  • a paid day off within a month
  • an extra day’s annual leave
  • an extra day’s pay

Absent from work before a public holiday

You are not entitled to a public holiday if you are absent from work immediately before the public holiday for one of the following reasons.

You have had an absence:

  • of 52 consecutive weeks (running in a row) or more because of an occupational injury
  • of 26 consecutive weeks or more because of an illness or injury (not occupational)
  • of 13 consecutive weeks or more caused by a reason that is not related to injury or illness
  • because of a strike
  • because of carers' leave (after the first 13 weeks of leave have passed)
  • because of health and safety leave under the Maternity Protection Act 1994 and 2004

Absent from work on a public holiday

You may be absent on a public holiday because you:

  • are certified by your doctor as sick
  • job-share
  • work a '5 over 7' day roster, or
  • don't work on the day a public holiday falls

In these cases, your manager will advise you about the benefits that apply in your case.

Public holidays and termination of employment

We will pay you for any public holiday that falls the day after your last week of work, as long as you have worked for the 4 previous weeks.

For example, if Christmas Day falls on a Friday and your employment ends on the previous Friday (18th December), you would still be entitled to payment for Christmas Day. This is only if you have worked during the 4 weeks before the week starting on 18 December.

How to apply for leave

How you apply for leave varies depending on where you work. Ask your line manager what the process is for you.

Related content

Public holiday entitlement during sick leave circular 004/2012 (PDF, 965KB, 9 pages)

National HR Employee Helpdesk

Phone: 1800 444 925


The helpdesk is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 12 noon