Public Holiday Entitlements - Useful Information

The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, provides for the following nine public holidays:-

  1. 1 January (New Year’s Day)

  2. St. Patrick’s Day

  3. Easter Monday

  4. the first Monday in May

  5. the first Monday in June

  6. the first Monday in August

  7. the last Monday in October

  8. Christmas Day

  9. St. Stephen’s Day.


In respect of each public holiday, an employee is entitled to:-


(a) a paid day off on the holiday, or

(b) a paid day off within a month, or

(c) an extra day’s annual leave, or

(d) an extra day’s pay

as the employer may decide.


Therefore, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, and the employee does not normally work Saturdays, options (b), (c) or (d) apply as the employer may decide.


There is no service requirement in respect of public holidays for full-time employees.

Other categories of employees (part-time) qualify for public holiday entitlement provided they have worked at least 40 hours during the five weeks ending on the day before a public holiday.



PAYMENT FOR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Where the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee normally works


  • Where a public holiday falls on a day which a full-time employee normally works, he/she is automatically entitled to one of the above four options. 
  • A part-time employee is required to have worked an aggregate of 40 hours in the previous 5 weeks to be entitled to a public holiday benefit.

To calculate an employee's daily rate of pay for the public holiday, use one of the following methods:

  • if the employee's pay is fixed and does not vary in relation to work done by them, use the employee's normal daily rate 

  • if the employee's pay does fluctuate, use the employee's average daily rate of pay (excluding pay for overtime) calculated over:


    a) the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the public holiday in question 

    b) or, if no time was worked during that period, the period of 13 weeks ending on the day that was last worked by them before that public holiday

 

Where the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee does not normally work


Where a public holiday falls on a day which the employee does not normally work, an employee's daily rate should be calculated as follows:

  • if the employee's pay is fixed and doesn't vary in relation to work done by them, the employee is entitled to 1/5th of their normal weekly rate, including any regular bonus or allowance, but excluding overtime.

  • if the employee's pay does fluctuate, the employee is entitled to 1/5th of their average weekly pay (excluding pay for overtime) calculated over:

             a) the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the public holiday in question

             b) or, if no time was worked during that period, the period of 13 weeks ending on the day that was last worked by them before that public holiday


An employer must keep, and retain for at least three years, whatever records are necessary to show that the Act is being complied with.

Please note: that this Act refers to 'public holidays' not 'bank holidays'. Not every official bank holiday is a public holiday though in practice most of them coincide.

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