Christmas and New Year Public Holidays 2021/2022

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Christmas New Year - employee and employer considerations

Christmas and New Year Holidays – What to Pay Employees

This year, all the Christmas and New Year public holidays fall on a weekend. Because of this they are ‘Mondayised’, or in some cases moved to a Tuesday.

Actual Date Observed Date
Christmas Day Saturday 25 December 2021 Monday 27 December
Boxing Day Sunday 26 December 2021 Tuesday 28 December 2021
New Year’s Day Saturday 1 January 2022 Monday 3 January 2022
Day After New Year’s Day Sunday 2 January 2022 Tuesday 4 January 2022

What date applies to my employees?

Mondayisation only applies for employees who don’t normally work on a Saturday and/or Sunday. For employees who do work on those days, there is no Mondayisation for them. Therefore their public holiday benefits apply to the calendar date of the holiday.

If an employee would normally work on both the calendar date of the public holiday and the possible Mondayisation date, their public holiday is on the calendar date. They don’t get two public holidays.


If your business has a close down over the Christmas and New Year period, employees are entitled to a paid public holiday if they would have normally worked on that day.

What should I pay my employees?

What an employee gets for Christmas and New Year public holidays depends on whether or not they actually work on the holiday (or on the day the public holiday has been transferred to), and whether or not the day is a day they would otherwise have worked.

If an employee works on a public holiday, they must get paid at least time and a half. In addition, if the public holiday falls on what is a normal working day for them, they must also get a paid day off at a later date. This is referred to as “time off in lieu”, or TOIL.

Can I make my employee work on a Public Holiday?

An employee can only be made to work on a public holiday if it falls on a day that they would have otherwise worked, and their employment agreement says they have to work. Employers or employees can also agree to transfer the date that a public holiday is observed. This may be for business reasons or to suit an employee and the agreement must be in writing. There are some provisions around this so contact us if you would like advice.

What about shift workers?

For shift workers, note that generally a public holiday runs from midnight to midnight. If your employee works on any part of the public holiday (and it is an otherwise working day for them) they are entitled to an alternative holiday and time and a half for the time actually worked. If you have staff with no clear work pattern, or there is a lot of variation in their work times, it may be hard to decide entitlements and pay so contact FixHR for help.

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