Do we pay workers for public holidays while they’re on unpaid leave?

Q: As an employer, are we required to pay an employee for a public holiday when the employee is on leave without pay or unpaid parental leave?

A: Only employees who normally work on a day upon which a public holiday falls will be entitled to payment at their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not been absent on the public holiday.

Therefore, if an employee is on unpaid maternity leave, leave without pay or unpaid parental leave over a public holiday, e.g. Good Friday, then they are not entitled to be paid for the public holiday.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Public holidays for current advice.

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