Public Holiday Pay Entitlements in Ireland

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Holiday pay rates in Ireland

Despite the common use of the term in Ireland, not every bank holiday is a public holiday. For instance, Good Friday is a bank holiday but it is not a public holiday.

The following dates are the official public holidays in Ireland.

  • New Year’s Day (1 January)
  • St. Patrick’s Day (17 March)
  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in May, June, August
  • Last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • St. Stephen’s Day (26 December)

Unlike other countries, if a public holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday is not automatically given as a replacement holiday. Often this is the case, but employees who qualify for public holiday benefit will are entitled to one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day’s pay
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

Who qualifies for a payment?

Part-time employees qualify for public holiday entitlement if they have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks ending the day before the public holiday.

Full time employees are not required to have worked up a minimum number of hours.

How to calculate the amount to be paid?

Full-time employees are entitled to one of the above four options at the employer’s discretion.

Part-time employees have the same entitlement, so where the employee’s pay is a fixed amount the normal daily rate can be used. If the pay varies, the daily rate should be calculated over the 13 weeks immediately before the public holiday in question.

Part-time employees

Public holidays that fall on a day the part-time employee would normally work

If a part-time employee has worked at least a total of 40 hours in the 5 weeks leading up to one of the recognised public holidays, and the public holiday falls on a day that the part-time employee would normally work, that part-time employee is entitled to a day off with pay for that public holiday. If the part-time employee works on the public holiday itself, the employee must receive an additional day's pay, or an alternative day off with pay on a normal work day for them.

Public holidays that fall on a day the part-time employee does not normally work

If the part-time employee has worked at least a total of 40 hours in the 5 weeks leading up to a specific public holiday, and the public holiday does not fall on a day the employee would usually work, that employee must receive 1/5th of their average weekly pay. This entitlement prevails even if the employee never has to work on the day on which the public holiday falls. The reference period to determine average weekly pay is the 13 weeks leading up to the public holiday in question.

Further information can be found at Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

Disclaimer

While every care is taken that the information above is correct, it is provided only as background information and companies should look to government advice if unsure about rules and laws relating to holiday pay and absence.

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