There is confusion this year on whether the St Patrick’s Day public holiday entitlement is for Saturday 17 March or Monday 19 March. Read on through our public holiday FAQs what your business should do for this year’s Patrick’s Day public holiday

Q. We are open on Saturdays. Are our employees, who are scheduled to work that day, entitled to the public holiday?

A. Yes. It is often the case that a bank holiday falls on a Monday, however, Saturday 17 March is the official public holiday and the entitlement is for that day.

 

Q. We open Monday to Friday. Are our employees entitled to public holiday entitlement?

A. Yes for full time employees, they are entitled to one fifth of the working week for a public holiday. Many businesses are choosing to close on Monday 19 March, but this is not a mandatory requirement. It is however a requirement that full time employees are given their public holiday statutory entitlement for Saturday 17 March.

 

Q. What are the public holiday entitlements for employees?

A. An employee is entitled to whichever of the following that their employer determines:

 

a) a paid day off on that day – in this case 17 March

b) a paid day off within a month of that day – this could apply if an employee is required to work Saturday 17 March

c) an additional day of annual leave

d) an additional day’s pay.

 

Q. Who decides what public holiday benefit is given?

A. The benefit provided is at the employer’s discretion.

 

Q. When must an employee be advised of the public holiday benefit he/she 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. Are there conditions for qualifying for public holiday benefit?

A. Full time employees have an immediate entitlement to public holiday benefits. Part-time employees must have worked at least 40 hours in the five weeks ending on the day before the public holiday 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:

 

1) If the employee’s pay is calculated wholly by reference to a time rate or a fixed rate or salary, the amount paid to the employee for the public holiday is equal to the amount paid to him/her in respect of the normal daily 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 excludes any pay for overtime.

 

2) If the employee’s pay is not calculated by reference to the matters referred to above, (e.g. employees who earn commission or who work on piece or productivity rates), the amount paid to him/her for the public holiday is equal to the average daily pay of the employee (excluding any pay for overtime) calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the public holiday. If no time was worked by the employee during that period, the average daily pay is calculated over the 13 weeks ending on the day on which time was last worked by the employee before the public holiday.

 

Employees who are not normally required to work on the day on which the public holiday falls or if the employee does not work on a day which is a public holiday, then:

 

3) If the employee’s pay is calculated wholly by reference to a time rate or a fixed rate or salary, 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 excludes any pay for overtime.

 

4) If the employee’s pay is not calculated by reference to the matters referred to above, (e.g. employees who earn commission or work on piece or productivity rates) 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. 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 four weeks proceeding that week, he/she will be entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.

 

If you would like more information on public holiday entitlements, please contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit our HR and Employment Law advice section on www.sfa.ie/advice