Erin asks: If I normally work on a day when a public holiday falls but I’m sick on that day and so don’t go in, would I get penalty rates?
Penalty rates are payable if people work on a public holiday, but aren’t paid if the day is taken off.
For example, if you are permanent worker and Friday was one of your standard days, if you worked on Good Friday you should receive penalty rates on top of your standard flat rate.
If however you take the day as the public holiday and don’t go in, you will be paid for that day at the normal rate (as part of your paid leave entitlement) and won’t receive penalty rates, because you get to spend the day with friends and family.
If you were a casual worker and normally work on Fridays you would receive payment plus penalty rates for working on Good Friday. If you didn’t work though, unfortunately you wouldn’t be paid for the day.
The same rules apply to if you were sick on a public holiday – if it falls on your normal rostered day and you can’t go in because you’re ill (and have sick leave up your sleeve) you should be paid at the normal rate but wouldn’t receive penalty rates on top of that.
If you have any questions or think you’ve been underpaid give the Australian Unions team a call on 1300 486 466. It’s a confidential service and your boss will never know you’ve phoned us.