Whatever your company, there are always different staffing and pay considerations over the holiday break where forward planning is required.
For employers that need extra staff over the holiday season to deal with high demand, it is important that those employees have the correct type of employment agreement in place so that minimum employment requirements are covered off.
If an employee is only needed for the holiday period (and will be employed consistently during that time), a fixed term employment agreement is likely to be the most suitable. The agreement will need to specify the term of the agreement and the reasons why the employment is just for a fixed term (e.g. to cover increased demand over the Christmas season). If there is no expectation of ongoing employment and the employee is only to be employed on an as and when required basis, then a casual employment agreement is likely to be the most suitable type of agreement.
In both cases, you will need to consider whether the employee should be paid annual holiday entitlements (8% of gross weekly earnings) on a paid as you earn basis (recommended for casual workers) or at the end of their employment term (if less than 12 months). This will need to be agreed and specified in their employment agreement.
This holiday season, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Sunday. Over Christmas and New Year, where a public holiday falls on a Sunday and the day would not otherwise be a working day for an employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on the following Tuesday. If the Sunday would otherwise be a working day for the employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on that day.
If you need your employees to work on a public holiday, they must be paid the greater of:
- The portion of that employee’s relevant daily or average pay that relates to the time actually worked on the day, less any penal rates, plus half that amount again; or
- The portion of that employee’s relevant daily pay that relates to the time actually worked on the day, including penal rates.
In addition to the above, where the public holiday falls on a day that would usually be a working day for the employee, they are also entitled to a day in lieu.