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Public holidays

Last updated August 2023

This chapter explains employees’ public holiday entitlements and provides a comprehensive list of public holidays in each jurisdiction.

Which laws govern public holidays?

Employee public holiday entitlements can be found in:

  • the National Employment Standards (NES);
  • state and territory legislation;
  • modern awards and enterprise agreements; and
  • employment contracts or workplace policies.
Important: The NES is the base standard for public holiday entitlements. Other instruments can build on the NES, but not undercut it.

This is shown in the following diagram, which depicts the instruments in ascending order of precedence:

Where there is a discrepancy between instruments relating to the rights and obligations of an employee or employer, the succeeding one will apply, for example, enterprise agreements and modern awards override state laws.