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Workers urged to check their entitlements this Easter Holiday

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Media Release

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Workers – particularly those engaged in casual or shift work - have been reminded that they are entitled to additional pay if they work over the Easter holidays.

Slater and Gordon employment lawyer Brad Annson said penalty rates had received media attention recently following reports the employment watchdog investigates about 1000 complaints of unpaid penalty rates every year.

“It is important that employees who are rostered to work this Easter long weekend remember that they are likely to be entitled to extra pay,” Mr Annson said.

“The Easter period contains both a weekend and public holidays, so employees are likely to be entitled to different rates on different days.

“Anyone intending to work over the Easter break should check their award or employment agreement to find out what level of increased pay they should receive on the various days.

“What is technically a public holiday can differ from state to state – for example Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday are public holidays in the eastern states, but Easter Sunday is a public holiday only in New South Wales. " 

Tips for anyone working this Easter:

  • Most workers should be entitled to be paid penalty rates for any work performed on any gazetted public holiday
  • Some workers may also be entitled to be paid for a minimum "shift", even if they work fewer hours on that day
  • Workers should check their relevant Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement to confirm that they are paid their full entitlement for working on these days
  • If a worker believes they have not been paid correctly, they should contact the union that covers their industry or the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“For a lot of casual workers penalty rates for working weekends and public holidays are an important source of income,” Mr Annson said.

“Short changing someone on their penalty rates, or just not paying them, is against the law.”