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's Posts

Awards & Rostering    |   

Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your 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). Tell me some more interesting facts about payroll around public hoildays 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 Where can I get help? 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. What’s your favourite easter treat? We’re impartial to Lindt chocolate bunnies. Yum. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

Awards & Rostering Events & Media Product Updates    |   

Tanda hits 1 Million clock ins!

Tanda has ticked over to 1 MIllion Clock-Ins! That is a lot of people showing up for work. And though we may gripe and grumble about the daily grind, one million clock-ins is something we want you to celebrate with the whole team at Tanda. Tanda has been here to help you. We have helped you make payroll simple and easy. We have helped you make time theft and wasted hours of figuring out award rates a thing of the past. But today Tanda wants to acknowledge someone else in this ever-growing time and attendance tool. We want to focus on YOU. One million clock-ins on our successful cloud-based software might seem like an intangible concept. Instead, we’d like you to think of it more as an in-Tanda-ble concept. That’s people getting up early to clock in so you have your morning coffee. That’s childcare workers all over Australia clocking in to make sure your children get the best start in early learning. That’s certified companies like Subway, Nike and Telstra moving forward in the constantly changing systems of business, time and attendance. But more importantly in many ways, that’s small businesses and the backbone of Australian industries moving forward with them too. Tanda ensures no one gets left behind, and no time or attendance goes amiss for those 1 million of you who have clocked in. Though we can’t celebrate this achievement with each and everyone of you in your office, restaurant, childcare centre, hotel or whatever space it is you run your business in, we can still thank you all here from Tanda HQ. This video isn’t much, but its a small demonstration of how excited we are for all of you. Keep up to date with more exciting news from Tanda by heading to our Facebook page and giving us the old thumbs up at https://www.facebook.com/TandaHQ or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more surprises to come.  

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.

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.

Related Articles

Awards & Rostering

Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your 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 […]

Awards & Rostering Events & Media Product Updates

Tanda hits 1 Million clock ins!

Tanda has ticked over to 1 MIllion Clock-Ins! That is a lot of people showing up for work. And though we may gripe and grumble about the daily grind, one million clock-ins is something we want you to celebrate with the whole team at Tanda. Tanda has been here to help you. We have helped […]

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 […]

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