Melbourne Cup Day – Public holiday pay and entitlements

  • Melbourne Cup Day - public holiday pay rates

Melbourne Cup Day rolls around on Tuesday, 4 November 2014 and brings with it a public holiday in Victoria. It’s a good time for employers to remind themselves of their obligations around public holidays and penalty rates.

What you’ll need:

  • Basic understanding of the NES.
  • Any relevant modern award for each of your employees. We’re using the Restaurant Industry Award in the examples in this Small Plate.
  • Any written employment agreements, enterprise agreement or trainee contract (whatever is in place with each employee). That document will apply only to the extent that it leaves the employee better off than the other provisions.

For employees working on Melbourne Cup Day

Most hospitality employees who are rostered on are entitled to be paid the public holiday penalty rate.

All employees under the Restaurant Industry Award are entitled to be paid penalty rates. That’s either:

  • at least an extra 150% on top of the minimum wage rate; or
  • at least an extra 50% on top of the minimum wage rate plus the equivalent time off within a week; or
  • at least an extra 50% on top of the minimum wage rate plus the equivalent time worked added to their annual leave to be used within 28 days.

If that time off or leave isn’t taken, they get paid the penalty rate instead.

For employees with the day off on Melbourne Cup Day

Full timers under the Restaurant Industry Award with an RDO get:

  • their ordinary pay;
  • an alternate day off within 28 days; or
  • an extra day added to their annual leave.

Part timers under the Restaurant Industry Award with an RDO get their ordinary pay (not the penalty rate). That’s from the NES.

Casuals don’t get anything. They didn’t work and they’re not entitled to annual leave.

Requests for the day off? Moving the public holiday?

That’s just the start for the Melbourne Cup Day public holiday. You can consider agreeing on a substitute public holiday. You may need to deal with a chef who insists on the day off. Then there’s minimum hours for those rostered on.

If you need more information, get in contact. We’ll be happy to help.

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