Public Holiday Entitlements during this Festive Season!

Press Release

Public Holiday Entitlements during this Festive Season!

This year, both Christmas and New Year’s public holidays fall over the weekend and for some industries that work right through the festivities, the question of worker’s entitlements is a concern. Following legal advice, the Labour and Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to inform you about your rights and obligations under the Employment Relations Act 2012 (ERA) and the Public Holidays Act 1999 (PHA).

Under the PHA Christmas day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Day after New Year’s Day are deemed public holidays and are the minimum public holiday entitlement for all workers required to work on those days. Section 3(2) of the PHA provides that when these public holidays fall on a Saturday or a Sunday, the holiday shall be observed respectively on the following Monday and Tuesday. Section 38(2)(a) to (d) of the ERA enables employee and employer negotiations over how to deal with public holiday entitlements, for example, either paid double time, or single pay and time in lieu or given an extra annual leave day.

If workers are required to work on the public holidays as well as the days to be observed as public holidays, that is Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, workers are entitled as a minimum to be compensated under section 38(2)(a) to (d) of the ERA for working those days. Striving for Decent Work standards across the country, employers are therefore encouraged to adopt a fair and reasonable approach in implementing section 3(2) of the PHA and section 38(2)(a) to (d) of the ERA during this festive season.

The Labour and Consumer Division wishes a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017 to all our valued stakeholders. Any additional queries may be sent by email on or by phone.


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Sandrina Thondoo, Director of Labour and Consumer Division,

Ministry of Internal Affairs.