What Employees Are Entitled to a Public Holiday Benefit & How Are Benefits Calculated?

Last updated: March 20th, 2024

Published: March 20th 2024

From Easter Monday to St Patrick’s Day, Ireland gets ten public holidays and, with them, public holiday benefits.

But what if one of these public holidays falls on a weekend? Do you know which employees are entitled to a public holiday benefit, and do you understand how to calculate it?

While it’s advised to consult with an expert for more complicated employment law issues, the basics of public holiday benefit are as follows:

Who gets public holiday benefit?

Full-time employees:

All full-time employees are entitled to benefit from the public holiday irrespective of their length of service.

Part-time employees:

Part-time employees are entitled to public holiday benefits when they’ve worked at least 40 hours in the five weeks preceding the holiday.

An employee will begin to accrue public holiday entitlements from the moment they commence working for their employer.

How do I calculate public holiday entitlements?

How much and whether an employee gets entitlement depends on whether the employee is salaried, variable hours, or fixed rate; and, whether they are commission-based or piece rate workers:

Salaried, variable hours, or fixed rate employees:

  • A. If the public holiday falls on a day the employee has worked or would normally have worked, then they are entitled to remuneration equivalent to the hours that employee worked on their last working day before the holiday.
  • B. If the Public holiday falls on a day when the employee didn’t work and wouldn’t normally work, then they are entitled to remuneration equivalent to one-fifth of their last normal working week.

Commission or Piece rate workers:

  • A. If the public holiday falls on a day the employee has worked or would normally have worked, then they are entitled to remuneration equivalent to their average daily pay over the thirteen-week period prior to the public holiday.
  • B. If the public holiday falls on a day on which the employee didn’t work and wouldn’t normally work,, then they are entitled to remuneration equivalent to one-fifth of their average weekly pay over the thirteen week period prior to the Public holiday.

What are the public holiday benefits?

A public holiday benefit doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of renumeration. Indeed, the employer has the option of proving one of the below four benefits to their employees:

  1. A paid day off on the public holiday, or
  2. A paid day off within a month of the public holiday, or
  3. An extra day’s annual leave, or
  4. An extra day’s pay.

Where a public holiday falls on a weekend the public holiday does not automatically transfer to the Monday, but the employer may transfer it if they wish.

For example, many companies may decide to transfer a public holiday that falls on a Sunday or a Saturday – like St Patrick’s day, for example – to Monday to give employees a paid day off. However, this is not a legal obligation.

If you have any questions regarding public holidays, please contact the advice line on +353 1 886 0350

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