A legislative change in late December 2021 has seen employees in Western Australia officially gain an additional public holiday over the Easter long weekend, commencing this year. Prior to this change, only Good Friday and Easter Monday were gazetted Public Holidays for employees in WA, with Easter Sunday not recognised as a public holiday and treated as a normal day for employers and employees. However, on 16 December 2021, the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by State Parliament, making Easter Sunday a gazetted public holiday permanently into the future.
The introduction of gazetted public holidays in any state has implications for employers, providing permanent employees who regularly work that day the right to a paid day off under the National Employment Standards, or possible additional entitlements such as public holiday rates of pay if they are required to work.
Employers are reminded that for any full time or part time employee:
- Rostered to work on days of the week that fall on a public holiday; and
- Where the employee is not required to work on the day;
that the employee must be paid their base rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours of work on those public holidays.
Employers should check the modern award or enterprise agreement, or contract of employment, that applies to their employees to determine if/what penalties may apply to permanent/casual employees who are required to work on the public holiday.
For our ER Strategies clients, the public holiday schedule available on Online HR has been updated to reflect these changes. Please ensure you login and download an updated copy of the 2022 Public Holiday Schedule and keep a copy of this on file. Over the past couple of years, we have seen a few ad hoc changes to public holidays across Australia due to COVID-19 and updated legislation, so employers are encouraged to regularly refer to the schedule available on Online HR to ensure the most up-to-date copy is being used.
If you are unsure or need further assistance, please contact ER Strategies on 1300 55 66 37.