Servicing Australia wide HR consulting for employers Australia wide.

Cultural and religious holidays and events

Australia is a multicultural nation boasting cultural and religious diversity. It is only logical to conclude that workplaces across the country also reflect this diversity.

Many religions, faiths and cultures observe occasions of spiritual or cultural significance.

Some examples of cultural or religious holidays include Lunar New Year, Diwali, Ramadan and NAIDOC Week.

Some Religious Holidays are Compulsory for Employees

Your Employees may have an obligation to attend cultural and ceremonial events important to the community or group to which they belong.

Such obligations may be “traditional” or “urban” in nature and may include initiation, birthing, naming and attending funerals in cases where the deceased person is not a member of the employee’s immediate family or household.

Many religious and cultural holidays observed in Australia are not recognised public holidays.

This means that employees may wish to take time off work to celebrate these holidays.

Employers can support the needs of employees participating in cultural or religious holidays and events by:

  • agreeing with employees to use leave entitlements to take time off work
  • acknowledging or celebrating these holidays in the workplace to promote awareness and inclusion
  • agreeing to flexible working arrangements, such as a change to hours, patterns or locations of work to accommodate the holiday

Recognising and embracing diversity in the workplace helps staff feel valued for their unique qualities, ideas and perspectives. Embracing celebrations of cultural or religious holidays benefits the whole workplace and can lead to increased:

  • job satisfaction
  • workplace morale and culture
  • productivity

Bottom line? It is against the law to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of their religion or national extraction. To avoid legal issues, it’s a good idea for employers to agree to employees taking time off to celebrate cultural or religious holidays.

Like to know more? The Department of Home Affairs calendar of cultural and religious dates is available here. You might like to visit the Fair Work Ombudsman Workplace Discrimination page to learn more about unlawful discrimination.

Bare Bones Consulting can help get the best from employees of differing cultural backgrounds. We hold genuine HR Management experience in both national and international locations, including developing countries. Check out our experience here and compare it to other HR Consultants…it’s simply smarter to go with someone with a track record across differing cultures and workplaces!

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.