Public holidays and paying stood down employees

It’s stated pretty clearly on the Fairwork Australia website, “Employees that are stood down remain employed during the period of the stand down.”

This means employees who are stood down by their employer under the Fair Work Act are entitled to be paid for public holidays that occur during the stand down period. This is applicable only if the public holiday falls on a day the employee would have usually worked.

accounting public holiday paying employees

The Ombudsman has provided the following example to help employers understand their obligations.


Shane is a part-time employee at a gym in Adelaide selling memberships and providing customer service support. His rostered days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday with 7.5 hours each shift.

Because of an enforceable government direction to close all non-essential services including gyms, Shane’s workplace has closed. His employer tells him that he will be stood down without pay for 2 months. Shane’s enterprise agreement and employment contract don’t say anything about stand downs. His employer has relied on the stand down provisions under the Fair Work Act.

A public holiday falls on the Monday during the second week of the gym’s closure.

Shane is entitled to be paid for this public holiday. This is because he would have normally been absent from work and paid for the public holiday on that day.

Sourced from Fairwork Australia website.

For further information on public holiday entitlements during Coronavirus, please visit the Fair Work Australia Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws website here.