Easter Penalty Rates for 2017

Katrina Marquez

11 April 2017    |   

Easter may be just around the corner, however for many businesses it marks the start of the dreaded public holiday period. Commencing on Friday 14th April, 2017 (Easter Good Friday), businesses in Queensland will see a total of six public holidays in the next 18 days. Such a phenomenon hasn’t occurred in over a decade, with 2006 being the last time Queensland experienced this concentration of public holidays. While employees may be celebrating, for business owners this means a month of four day working weeks, bringing its own round of challenges to profitability, productivity and staff availability. Fear not, the rest of Australia has not been left without its fair share of public holidays with the nation set to celebrate and commemorate a number of occasions across the coming weeks. *Restricted public holiday in Tasmania, check your Award to see if it applies to your business.  While the festivities may cause reason for celebration, the public holidays are set to cost businesses significantly. In Queensland alone, the expected cost of the public holidays is set to blow out to $2 billion dollars. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager advocacy Kate Whittle, has stated that, “the new Easter Sunday holiday alone would deliver an economic hit of nearly $60 million.” And that’s just in Queensland, with the expected cost for the nation’s public holiday celebrations to be substantial. Tanda surveyed 125 Queensland businesses, to determine their labour decisions for the upcoming Easter long weekend. Of the 125 businesses surveyed it was found that 15.2% of businesses have reduced their roster hours by 100% this weekend compared to last year, suggesting that an increased number have chosen not to open at all. It appears that the effects of Easter Sunday’s new public holiday are already being felt, with 53.6% of surveyed Queensland businesses choosing to decrease their total of hours rostered for the entire Easter weekend. On top of this, of those businesses who opened last Easter Sunday, 11.5% are opting to close their doors this Sunday. So what can businesses be doing to manage the public holiday costs? 1. Cost your roster before the public holidays. Do you know your public holiday rates and when they apply? Do you know your expected trade and how many staff you’ll need to roster on? Building a roster to meet your customer and service demand is the easiest way to optimise your roster costs. Using POS or product quantity data to determine your staff ratios, means that you won’t be over or understaffed for the day. While you’re building your roster, it’s important to keep an eye on the cost of the roster– including the additional penalty rates that come with public holidays. 2. Who’s away or not able to work? Knowing who’s on leave and who’s unavailable ahead of time makes the rostering process a lot easier for everyone involved. It’s also important to keep track of staff leave, as this can affect your labour spend. Full-time and Part-time staff who normally work the weekday the public holiday falls on, are still entitled to be paid for the day even if they didn’t work. For anyone who does work the public holiday, they’ll need to be paid the public holiday penalty rate. Check your Award to see how this applies to your business. 3. Pay your staff. After staff have worked the public holiday, it’s important that they are paid correctly for their hours. This starts with checking staff timesheets on the day if possible, or at the end of the week. This ensures that staff attendance has been recorded and they have been paid the relevant penalty rates for those hours. Doing this before you get to payroll, means that you can catch and rectify any errors early. From here, it’s just a quick export to payroll ready for your pay run. Changes to Public Holiday Penalty Rates Public holidays can cause concern for businesses owners, so it’s important to know what’s happening and how you can prepare for it. The latest change will see new Public Holiday penalty rates for specific Modern Awards, brought into effect July 1, 2017. Check out the table below to see if your business will be affected. Source: HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Easter may be just around the corner, however for many businesses it marks the start of the dreaded public holiday period.

Commencing on Friday 14th April, 2017 (Easter Good Friday), businesses in Queensland will see a total of six public holidays in the next 18 days. Such a phenomenon hasn’t occurred in over a decade, with 2006 being the last time Queensland experienced this concentration of public holidays. While employees may be celebrating, for business owners this means a month of four day working weeks, bringing its own round of challenges to profitability, productivity and staff availability.

Fear not, the rest of Australia has not been left without its fair share of public holidays with the nation set to celebrate and commemorate a number of occasions across the coming weeks.


*Restricted public holiday in Tasmania, check your Award to see if it applies to your business. 

While the festivities may cause reason for celebration, the public holidays are set to cost businesses significantly. In Queensland alone, the expected cost of the public holidays is set to blow out to $2 billion dollars.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager advocacy Kate Whittle, has stated that, “the new Easter Sunday holiday alone would deliver an economic hit of nearly $60 million.” And that’s just in Queensland, with the expected cost for the nation’s public holiday celebrations to be substantial.

Tanda surveyed 125 Queensland businesses, to determine their labour decisions for the upcoming Easter long weekend. Of the 125 businesses surveyed it was found that 15.2% of businesses have reduced their roster hours by 100% this weekend compared to last year, suggesting that an increased number have chosen not to open at all.

It appears that the effects of Easter Sunday’s new public holiday are already being felt, with 53.6% of surveyed Queensland businesses choosing to decrease their total of hours rostered for the entire Easter weekend. On top of this, of those businesses who opened last Easter Sunday, 11.5% are opting to close their doors this Sunday.

So what can businesses be doing to manage the public holiday costs?

1. Cost your roster before the public holidays.

Do you know your public holiday rates and when they apply?
Do you know your expected trade and how many staff you’ll need to roster on?

Building a roster to meet your customer and service demand is the easiest way to optimise your roster costs. Using POS or product quantity data to determine your staff ratios, means that you won’t be over or understaffed for the day. While you’re building your roster, it’s important to keep an eye on the cost of the roster– including the additional penalty rates that come with public holidays.

2. Who’s away or not able to work?

Knowing who’s on leave and who’s unavailable ahead of time makes the rostering process a lot easier for everyone involved. It’s also important to keep track of staff leave, as this can affect your labour spend. Full-time and Part-time staff who normally work the weekday the public holiday falls on, are still entitled to be paid for the day even if they didn’t work. For anyone who does work the public holiday, they’ll need to be paid the public holiday penalty rate. Check your Award to see how this applies to your business.

3. Pay your staff.

After staff have worked the public holiday, it’s important that they are paid correctly for their hours. This starts with checking staff timesheets on the day if possible, or at the end of the week. This ensures that staff attendance has been recorded and they have been paid the relevant penalty rates for those hours. Doing this before you get to payroll, means that you can catch and rectify any errors early. From here, it’s just a quick export to payroll ready for your pay run.

Changes to Public Holiday Penalty Rates

Public holidays can cause concern for businesses owners, so it’s important to know what’s happening and how you can prepare for it. The latest change will see new Public Holiday penalty rates for specific Modern Awards, brought into effect July 1, 2017. Check out the table below to see if your business will be affected.

Source: HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Related Posts

Awards & Rostering    |   

Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should be paid in your state. First, let’s see when the holidays will be in 2014. You might be surprised! If your business is open on any of these public holidays, you’ll need to pay staff the appropriate public holiday rates. You should check your award, which will tell you exactly what multiplier or penalties to apply, often under a Public Holidays section. A common multiplier is 2.5x. Some businesses pay staff salaries, or pay casually “above award”. Public holiday penalties still apply! If you have a contract, it should cover this – check with Fair Work if you are unsure. Staff who don’t work on a public holiday If you have full or part time staff who should have worked on any of the weekday public holidays – Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Easter Tuesday in specific cases – they are still entitled to pay, even if they do not work. Generally you’ll pay at base rate for the hours staff would have been entitled to. Of course, if staff do work on the day, you’ll pay at a higher rate as dictated by the award (see above). But keep in mind: this only applies if they usually work on that day. For example, a part timer in Queensland who generally works Tuesday to Thursday probably wouldn’t get paid the public holidays because there’s no public holiday on those weekdays. Check your award/agreement to be sure! If your award dictates how rostered days off work, you should check to see if staff with an RDO on a public holiday are still paid. In some states, some kinds of businesses are not permitted to open on public holidays due to trading regulations. If this applies, you will probably still be required to pay staff who would otherwise work on that weekday. Again, if you’re not sure, it’s best to ask. Staff who work on a day that isn’t a public holiday Keep in mind that the rest of the award doesn’t shut off just because it’s Easter. For example, if you are in Tasmania and pay Saturday rates, you’ll still need to pay these on Easter Saturday (which is not a public holiday for you). Did you know… If an employee takes sick leave around a public holiday (eg. Thursday April 24 to Monday April 28), they still get paid the public holiday if they were otherwise supposed to work that day (ie. full/part time) If an employee takes annual leave, public holidays during the leave period don’t count towards their annual leave balance Public holidays do not need to be paid for staff on unpaid leave Staff cannot be forced to work on a public holiday if they have reasonable grounds for doing so. Common reasons include: the amount of notice given, family responsibilities (especially over Easter), and whether one could reasonably expect the business to be open on a public holiday. Tanda’s employee time clocks automatically interpret industry awards – including public holidays – so you can be sure you paid staff right, without tedious manually data entry Add the Fair Work Infoline to your speed dial, they are always happy to help. The number to call for any payroll queries is 131 394. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

Industry Insights    |   

Change Might Be Coming to Hospitality and Retail Owners

This one is looking at all you Food Produce and Hospitality business owners out there in the Tandaverse. It has been announced that the Senate will launch an inquiry into the Australian Wine Industry. Tanda users in wine country, also known as South Australia, may have already heard South Australian Senator Anne Ruston moved for the inquiry to see if there’s a market failure. This means having a look at that transition from vineyard to restaurant. In true politician style, Senator Anne Ruston says things are going well for the wine industry in Australia, but there may be opportunities we have missed and certain factors going against us. This is all very vague and contradicting. Managers and business owners out there know hearsay is useless for your growth. Facts and numbers are the things most important to you. So what does all this actually mean for you? Well, what is unusual in politics is that it seems all sides of government are for the inquiry. Senate has reported that though the broad-ranging report is still in the process of conception, it would take a look at the power and influence of retailers and wholesalers of Australian wine in domestic and international markets. Not only will it uncover information beneficial to retailers, it’ll examine existing policies like the Wine Equalisation Tax. Though it’s quite apt that the policy is named WET, refrain from wetting your lips to celebrate just yet. Things could be in the process of changing for better or worse. But this is only part of a bigger picture. Free Market Trade agreements are on the table now making it an exciting time for Australian business owners. Tanda, and we’re sure you guys too, are very keen to see how this inquiry unfolds in the near future and beyond.

Industry Insights    |   

“Help! My employees are always late!”

Do you find in your business employees are constantly showing up for work late, or clocking off just a little bit too early for your liking? Tanda can help you keep track of your employees clock-ins and clock-outs. The SMS feature alerting you when people are late is also a handy Tanda tool to keep an eye on the hard workers and the not-so-hard workers in your team. But there’s one thing a Tanda Clock can’t do, and that’s motivate your team to show up on time to put in their best work. There’s a few key reasons staff start to dawdle on their way to work. One key factor is motivation. Once motivation drops in the office, kitchen or factory, the unproductive sentiment can spread like wild fire. You can help bring up your employees motivation levels with a few tips and tricks that the team here at Tanda has learned and implemented as well. Automation Firstly, automate what you can. If there is something an employee has to do that could be done just as easily with an add-on, application or new system then what are you waiting for? The same way Tanda automates payroll and rosters meaning less time wasted on the boring stuff, you can get rid of the boring tasks for your employees too. Rotation There are some things that have to happen around the workforce. But, if one employee has to carry out the same task or responsibility for more than three hours you will notice they might be getting bored. Try rostering them onto the same task for days or weeks on end and then ask yourself can you really blame them for being late all the time? Instead, it’s better to delegate and rotate tasks between your team. Productivy levels tend to spike at the beginning of a task, so if you can keep your team motivated with new or different things to do you’ll find less stragglers getting to work in the mornings. Optimization Which brings us to optimising how you use your time. Tanda knows a thing or two about time and attendance. Studies have shown people were more likely to be more cooperative and get work done in the morning. Throughout the day the peak in productivity comes unsurprisingly after lunch breaks. The worst times for positive results came just before lunch breaks and nearing the end of the shift. With that in mind, try and schedule the nitty gritty work, unpleasant tasks or least favourite jobs in the mornings and just after your staff have had a break to refresh. Save the fun stuff for the long hours and just before home time. Because really, if your staff are passionate about what they do for your company then there should be plenty of fun stuff for them to do.

More Resources

About the author

Katrina Marquez

Customer Success: With a background in industrial relations, Katrina brings a wealth of knowledge to our Tanda team.

Share this article

Related Articles

Awards & Rostering

Easter Penalty Rates 2015 — What you need to know about paying staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

Industry Insights

Change Might Be Coming to Hospitality and Retail Owners

This one is looking at all you Food Produce and Hospitality business owners out there in the Tandaverse. It has been announced that the Senate will launch an inquiry into the Australian Wine Industry. Tanda users in wine country, also known as South Australia, may have already heard South Australian Senator Anne Ruston moved for […]

Industry Insights

“Help! My employees are always late!”

Do you find in your business employees are constantly showing up for work late, or clocking off just a little bit too early for your liking? Tanda can help you keep track of your employees clock-ins and clock-outs. The SMS feature alerting you when people are late is also a handy Tanda tool to keep […]

More Resources

Subscribe to the Tanda Blog!

Stay updated with the latest insights on frontline work, industry news, business templates, and other free resources.

*Please fill this field
*Please fill this field