Does a public holiday extend long service leave?

Does a public holiday extend long service leave?
By Paul Munro on 14 March 2017 If a part-time worker takes long service leave in April, do the Easter public holidays extend the period of leave? Or does an extension only apply if the holiday falls on a day the employee would normally work?

This question was recently sent to our Ask an Expert service.

Q A part-time employee has applied to take long service leave and it coincides with the Easter break. The relevant legislation, the Long Service Leave Act 1992 [Vic], provides that the period of long service leave is extended by one day for each public holiday that falls during the period of leave. The part-time employee’s ordinary hours are Tuesday to Thursday inclusive. The Act would appear to state that a public holiday extends the period of long service leave.

Would the period of long service leave be extended for the part-time employee in this case, or does the extension only apply when a public holiday falls on a day the employee has ordinary hours of work?

A It is usually implied in state and territory long service leave legislation that a period of long service leave is only extended when a public holiday falls on a day an employee has ordinary hours of work.

The Long Service Leave Act 1992 [Vic] states that the period of long service leave is extended by one day for any public holiday occurring during the leave.

In this case, the part-time employee whose ordinary hours are Tuesday to Thursday would not have their period of leave extended as the relevant public holidays (Good Friday and Easter Monday) do not fall on a day on which the employee has ordinary hours of work.

The same principle applies to full-time employees and casual employees. For example, a full-time employee whose ordinary hours are Monday to Friday inclusive, would not have the period of long service leave extended because Easter Saturday is a declared public holiday, as the employee does not have ordinary hours of work on Saturday.

In the case of a casual employee, the Fair Work Act provides a legislative note which states that a casual employee who is not rostered on a public holiday is not entitled to payment for the day. Because the nature of casual employment implies no ordinary hours, it would seem an entitlement to a public holiday would not apply and no extension of leave would occur.

Extension by public holiday – other jurisdictions

  • Australian Capital Territory – leave extended by a public holiday
  • New South Wales – leave extended by a public holiday
  • Northern Territory – leave NOT extended by a public holiday
  • Queensland – leave extended by a public holiday
  • South Australia – leave NOT extended by a public holiday
  • Tasmania – leave extended by a public holiday
  • Western Australia – leave extended by a public holiday
The bottom line: While the relevant state or territory long service leave legislation may provide an extension when a public holiday falls during a period of leave, the public holiday must fall on a day the employee has ordinary hours of work for the extension of the leave to apply.

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first.

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...