There is confusion this year on whether the St Patrick’s Day public holiday entitlement is for the Sunday 17 March or Monday 18 March. Read our public holiday FAQs below to find out what your business should prepare for this year’s Patrick’s Day public holiday.
Q. We operate a seven-day week schedule. Some of our employees will be working on Sunday 17 March, is the public holiday on 17 March or Monday 18 March?
A. The public holiday falls on Sunday 17 March this year which means if your employee is rostered to work that day, they are entitled to the public holiday entitlement for another day or by way of payment. It is often the case that a public holiday falls on a Monday, however, Sunday 17 March is the official public holiday. Many businesses are choosing to close on 18 March to ensure their employees receive their public holiday entitlement.
Q. What are the public holiday entitlements for employees?
A. An employee is entitled to one of the following:
- a paid day off on that day – this would be either 17 March if your business is open seven days a week or 18 March if your business operates a Monday to Friday working week
- a paid day off within the month
- an additional day of annual leave
- an additional day’s pay
Q. Are there conditions for qualifying for Public Holiday benefit?
A. Full time employees have an immediate entitlement to public holiday benefit. Part-time employees must have worked at least 40 hours in the five weeks ending on the day before the public holiday in order to qualify for public holiday benefit.
Q. How is an employee’s public holiday pay calculated?
A. If the employee works or is normally required to work during any part of the day which is a public holiday, then it could be one of the options below:
- If the employee’s pay is fixed each week or month, the amount paid to the employee for the public holiday is equal to the amount paid to them in respect of their normal daily hours last worked before the public holiday. This payment includes any regular bonus or allowance that does not vary in relation to work done but it does not include any pay for overtime.
- If the employee’s pay is variable, for example casual employees or those on commission, the amount paid to them for the public holiday is equal to the average daily pay of the employee (excluding any pay for overtime). This is calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the public holiday. If the employee did not work in the preceding 13 weeks during that period, the average daily pay is calculated over the 13 weeks ending on the day that the employee last worked before that public holiday.
Q. What about employees who do not work on the public holiday or who are not rostered to work on that day?
A. Their pay would be calculated as follows:
- If the employee’s pay is fixed each or month, the amount paid to the employee for the public holiday is equal to one-fifth of the amount paid to him/her in respect of the normal weekly hours last worked by the employee before the public holiday. This payment includes any regular bonus or allowance that does not vary in relation to work done but it does not include any pay for overtime.
- If the employee’s pay is variable, for example casual employees or those on commission, the amount paid to the employee for the public holiday is equal to one-fifth of the average weekly pay (excluding any pay for overtime) of the employee calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before that public holiday. If no time was worked by the employee during that period, the average weekly pay is calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending on the day on which time was last worked by the employee before that public holiday.
Q. Who decides what public holiday benefit is given for employees who are rostered to work on the public holiday?
A. The benefit provided is at the employer’s discretion.
Q. When must an employee be advised of the public holiday benefit they will receive?
A. The employer has the discretion to decide which type of public holiday benefit will apply to employees. The Act allows an employee to request, not later than 21 days before the public holiday arrives, that the employer selects which of the above options applies to the employee for the upcoming public holiday. Where the employer fails to do so within 14 days of the public holiday, the employee will automatically be entitled to a paid day off on the public holiday.
Q. Can an employee be entitled to a public holiday benefit when they are no longer in employment?
A. Yes. If an employee ceases to be employed during the week ending on the day before a public holiday, having worked during the four weeks preceding that week, they will be entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.
Q. A career break has been agreed with an employee, are they required to be compensated for the public holiday during the career break?
A. Yes in this case, as the employee continues to accrue public holiday entitlement for the first 13 weeks of career leave that has been authorised by the employer.
Q. An employee is on sick leave during the public holiday, is this a sick leave day or a public holiday?
A. If the employee has provided a sick cert and they have followed the company sick leave policy then yes it would be classed as a sick leave day and they would retain their entitlement to public holiday to take at a later date. However, if the employee is out on certified sick for 26 weeks or more due to illness or injury or 52 weeks due to an occupational injury they no longer receive the public holiday entitlement.
Q. Are employees who are on maternity leave, parental leave or adoptive leave entitled to the public holiday entitlement?
A. Yes as these are protected leaves. They continue to maintain their public holiday entitlement for the duration of their protected leave.
If you would like more information on public holiday entitlements, please contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the annual leave and public holidays section of our website.