Is a notice period affected by public holidays?

Q&A

Is a notice period affected by public holidays?

If someone resigns just before a public holiday, is their period of notice extended by the number of holiday days? What if they take leave during the notice period?

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If someone resigns just before a public holiday, is their period of notice extended by the number of holiday days? What if they take leave during the notice period?
 
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We have a full-time employee who gave four weeks notice of termination of their employment on Christmas Eve 2013, with their last working day being 24 January 2014 . Their period of notice included the Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day public holidays. The employee also took five days pre-approved annual leave during the notice period. The employee is employed under the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010, which requires the same period of notice to be given by the employee to the employer as required by the employer under the National Employment Standard (NES). The modern award does not indicate whether the period of notice is extended by any days the employee is absent during the period of notice. Can we insist the period of notice be extended by the period of annual leave and the three public holidays (and now the Australia Day holiday), meaning the date of the employee’s resignation is extended by nine working days?

An employee who has been given notice by the employer, or has given notice to the employer, is required to work out the notice, except where prevented from attending due to illness or injury or where on an absence authorised by the employer. When notice is given by the employer, an employee who is absent from work without reasonable cause during the notice period, may have wages docked for the period of the absence; however, the length of the notice period is not extended by the unauthorised absence and the date of termination would remain unchanged.
 
The employer may accept an application by an employee to take annual leave during the notice period — the employer cannot unreasonably refuse to authorise annual leave. Also, the employer cannot direct the employee to take annual leave. Paid absences of annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, public holidays, long service leave, job search entitlement, jury service, compassionate leave, etc, would count as part of the period of notice.
 
This principle applies regardless of which party has given notice of termination of employment. Therefore, the original date of resignation, 24 January 2014, would remain the date of termination of the employment.
 

 
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