This year, Australia Day falls on a Sunday (26 January 2020) AND there is an official public holiday on Monday 27th January 2020, for every State and Territory.

Australia Day is one of the public holidays set by the Federal Government, as opposed to the Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day, which are decided upon by the individual State or Territory.

Please remember, there are specific entitlements for public holidays under the National Employment Standards (NES). As stated on

“The NES provide an entitlement for employees to be absent from work on a day or part-day that is a public holiday.

The NES protect an employee’s workplace right to reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday, and will guarantee payment where an employee is absent from work because of a public holiday.

Employees are protected from adverse action for having, using, or seeking to use their workplace right to reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday.”

Public holiday rates, substitute days and what’s considered reasonable grounds for refusing to work can vary based on your award or agreement terms, plus personal circumstances and more when it comes to reasonable grounds for refusing work.

If you have any concerns about managing your workplace requirements over public holiday periods, get in touch with our Workplace Partners ASAP.


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