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Public Holidays in Australia consist of both National and Local public holidays, and therefore differ in each State / Territory.

As a general rule, employees are not required to work on public holidays, however in some cases working on a Public Holiday is necessary - eg. a Retail environment where the shops open on a public holiday, similarly in a hospitality environment where a hotel or restaurant is open on a public holiday.

If a public holiday falls on a day you would ordinarily work, and you are not required to work (and you are not a casual employee), you would generally be paid for the hours you would ordinarily work on that day.

Employees who are required to work on a public holiday get paid at least their base rate for all hours worked.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can provide entitlements for working public holidays including:

  • Extra pay (public holiday rates)
  • An extra day off or extra annual leave
  • Minimum shift lengths for working on a public holiday
  • Agreeing to substitute a public holiday for another day

Source and additional information: ​

Details on all Public Holidays for all States & Territories in Australia can be found on the Fair Work Australia website:

Public Holidays in Australia