Can You Require an Employee to Work on a Public Holiday?

April 2023
Region: Asia Pacific

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) entitles an employee to be absent from their place of work on a day that is a public holiday without loss of pay. Employers can, however, make a reasonable request that an employee still works the relevant public holiday.

In this article we examine recent decisions of the Federal Court of Australia regarding when a request to work a public holiday may be reasonable and what constitutes an adequate request to an employee to work on a public holiday. We also set out an indicative process for employers to follow when requesting an employee works on a public holiday.