Public Holiday for Her Majesty the Queen – How to prepare for September 22September 14, 2022
The Government has announced that all Australians will have a one-off public holiday on Thursday 22 September 2022 that coincides with a memorial service for The Queen. Officially called the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, the holiday has been declared in honour of the life and service of The Queen.
For Victorians specifically, the declaration of this public holiday means an extra-long weekend, with the Grand Final Day public holiday falling on Friday, 23 September 2022.
In this article we address:
- Four-day weekend for Victoria.
- Normal business trading hours if businesses choose to operate.
- No loss of pay for non-casual employees.
- What to do if a business wants staff to come to work.
- How to work out the pay rate for staff.
What the holiday means for employers, staff and businesses
It should be noted however, that employees are entitled to a public holiday off work without loss of pay – something employers should consider if they choose to remain in operation on this public holiday.
Are employees expected to come to work if the business remains open?
Any request for an employee to work on a public holiday must be reasonable in the circumstances. When assessing the reasonability of the request, employers should take into consideration both the needs of the business and the surrounding personal circumstances of the employee.
Importantly, the short notice provided for this public holiday, may be a key consideration for businesses in determining the reasonability of requesting employees to work.
What penalty rates are my employees entitled to if they work?
Any award-covered employees who work on a public holiday are entitled to the public holiday penalty rate. Additionally, public holiday penalty rates may also be prescribed by a relevant enterprise agreement.
Employers may also consider that time off in lieu (TOIL) can be offered to employees as an alternative to the penalty rates. If this is offered, employers should ensure they are following the correct processes and procedures to implement this, including formulating a written agreement surrounding the TOIL hours.
What happens to my employees’ pay if we decide to shut?
If the business remains shut, it should bear in mind that some employees will still be entitled to payment for a public holiday not worked. This means that all permanent employees who would have ordinary hours rostered on this day must be paid for those hours at their base rate, not including penalty rates. Casual employees are not entitled to payment on a public holiday that they have not worked.
Trading Restrictions – as of 13 September 2022
As at the date of writing, only South Australia has announced trading restrictions. For all states except South Australia, usual trading hours will continue to apply.
On 12 September 2022, the South Australian Premier announced that shops must stay closed until 12:00pm on September 22 as a mark of respect. Large shops in the CBD and suburbs will be permitted to trade between 12:00pm and 9.00pm and an exemption to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 (SA) will be authorised for this purpose. In addition, the South Australian Government is exploring arrangements in public hospitals to ensure that elective surgeries may continue. Further details are expected to be announced.
Victoria, New South Wales & Western Australia
The State Governments in each of these States have declared that this public holiday will operate as per any other public holiday. As such, there has been no imposition of trading restrictions.
All other States and Territories
All other States and Territories have not yet confirmed trading conditions for the National Day of Mourning. This may change over the course of the coming days.
If the information in this article has raised any questions and you need some workplace advice, please contact the team at FCB.
This article was prepared by Caterina Apostolakos, Senior Workplace Relations Consultant