My hospitality business relies on holiday trade and one of my employees informs me he is not interested in working on public holidays. Is he permitted to do this?
Great question and, given the formal answer and your industry, a willingness to work public holidays is something you might have clarified at interview stage.
Bottom line? Employees are not obligated to work on a public holiday.
An employer can ask an employee to work on a public holiday, if the request is reasonable. An employee may refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds.
The following need to be taken into account when deciding if a request is reasonable:
When requesting that an employee work on a public holiday, employers need to consider all relevant circumstances, including those listed above.
Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can provide entitlements for working on public holidays, including:
Like to know more about your festive period employment obligations? Check out 5 things to know about public holidays during the Christmas and New Year period from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website here.
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