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Will I get paid public holiday rates on Boxing Day?

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
Australian cash money in mans jeans pocket, close up.
Australian cash money in mans jeans pocket, close up.

Australians working on Boxing Day, the 26th of December, have long dreaded the post-holiday rush, but tolerated it because the public holiday loading rates are so rewarding.

This year however, there’s been a change.

Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year and, as such, Monday the 28th of December has also been made a public holiday to make up for the fact that Aussies didn’t get a proper day off.

Will I get paid public holiday rates on Boxing Day?

The short answer is yes for some states, no for others.

If you’re in the ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, VIC or WA, both Saturday 26 December and Monday 28 December are public holidays, and you will paid public holiday rates on both days.

For those in the SA and TAS, Monday 28 December has been substituted as the public holiday.

This means, in these states, Saturday the 26th is treated as a normal day, and you won’t get paid public holiday rates on this day.

The retail, fast food and warehousing union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), said it was “an outrageous attack” on workers, and is campaigning for SA Premier Steven Marshall to “give back Boxing Day”.

“While everyone else is eating Christmas leftovers and spending time with loved ones on Boxing Day, Steven Marshall is leaving retail workers with nothing but the scraps,” SDA Secretary Josh Peaks said.

“If workers in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the ACT are all receiving penalty rates on December 26, why shouldn’t South Australians?”

How much do I get paid on public holidays?

If you’re a retail, fast food or warehouse worker, SDA-negotiated agreements and awards provide for:

  • Full-time and part-time employees who are rostered to work ordinary hours on a public holiday and who agree to work are paid timeand- a-quarter plus their normal day’s pay (this is equivilent to double-time-and-a-quarter).

  • Full-time and part-time employees who are not rostered to work ordinary hours and who agree to work are paid at the rate of double-time-and-a-quarter with a minimum payment for three hours work.

  • Casuals working on a public holiday are paid at the rate of double-time-and-a-half with a minimum payment for three hours of work.

How much you’ll be paid is generally outlined in your contract.

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