Q. There has been a lot of discussion recently about public holidays. Can you clarify the current situation?
- There are generally 9 public holidays in Ireland in a year.
- In 2022, an extra once-off public holiday will take place on Friday, 18 March.
- From 2023, there will be a new annual public holiday in early February to mark St Brigid’s Day. The public holiday will be the first Monday in February, except where St Brigid’s day (1 February) happens to fall on a Friday, in which case that Friday 1 February will be a public holiday.
Q. What about Good Friday, is it a public holiday?
- Good Friday is not a public holiday. While some schools and businesses close on that day, you have no automatic entitlement to time off work on that day.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND YOUR ENTITLEMENTS
Q. Is everyone entitled to get paid for a public holiday?
Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. There is an exception for certain part-time employees.
If you qualify for public holiday benefit, you 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.
If it’s not in your contract of employment your employer should let you know at least 14 days before the public holiday which one applies to you.
Q. What if a person is working part-time? Do they get paid time off?
You are entitled to a day’s pay for the public holiday if you meet both these conditions:
- You have worked for your employer at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday
- The public holiday falls on a day you normally work.
If you are required to work that day you are entitled to an additional day’s pay.
Q. What if I don’t normally work on that particular day?
- In that case you should get one-fifth of your weekly pay. Even if you are never rostered to work on a public holiday, you are entitled to one-fifth of your weekly pay as compensation for the public holiday.
Q. What happens when a public holiday falls on a weekend?
If the public holiday falls on a weekend as it did last Christmas, you are still entitled to benefit. However, you do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work. Your employer should let you know at least 14 days beforehand how it’s working for you.
Q. What if you are on ‘sick leave’ on a public holiday
For full-time workers if you are on sick leave during a public holiday, you are entitled to benefit for the public holiday you missed.
If you work part-time and are on sick leave during a public holiday, you are entitled to benefit for the public holiday, once you worked for your employer for at least 40 hours in the previous five-week period.
The exception to this would be where you were off work due to illness or occupational injury for more than 26 or 52 weeks.
Q. What about a situation where you are on maternity leave or parental leave?
You are entitled to leave for any public holidays that occur while you are on maternity leave, parental leave, paternity leave, adoptive leave or parent’s leave.
For anyone needing information, advice or who has an advocacy issue they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in North Cork. Phone Fermoy 0818 07 7970, Monday and Tuesday from 9-5pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 9-1pm. Mallow 0818 07 8000, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9-5pm and Tuesday from 9-12.30pm. Mitchelstown 0818 07 8030 – calls being answered by Mallow.