We have quite a few public holidays in Queensland (and across the country) coming up, including a relatively new one on Christmas Eve.

Make sure you’ve put these dates in your calendar and have made plans with your staff.

*These dates are for Queensland only and may vary across States).

Christmas Eve (Thursday 24 December from 6pm – midnight)

Christmas Day (Friday 25 December)

Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December AND Monday 28 December)

New Year’s Day (Friday 1 January)

Australia Day (Tuesday 26 January)


Your award or agreement (or in award/agreement free cases) may include terms for the employer and an employee to agree to substitute public holiday dates for another day.

As always, it’s important to remember these obligations from the Fair Work Ombudsman, regarding requests and refusals to work on public holidays.

In determining whether a request (or a refusal of such a request) to work on a public holiday is reasonable, the following must be taken into account:

  • the nature of the employer’s workplace (including its operational requirements) and the nature of the work performed by the employee
  • the employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities
  • whether the employee could reasonably expect that the employer might request work on the public holiday
  • whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates, additional remuneration or other compensation that reflects an expectation of work on the public holiday
  • the type of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual or shiftwork)
  • the amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employer when making the request
  • the amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employee in refusing the request
  • any other relevant matter.

If you need help managing your employment obligations in 2021, be sure to speak with our Workplace Partners ASAP.


*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.