With each state taking a different approach to which days are public holidays over Easter, businesses need to ensure they’re sticking to the rules when it comes to employee payments and trading restrictions.
The Easter period, from Good Friday to Easter Monday, will run from March 30 to April 2 this year. Here’s a brief rundown of the days that are public holidays in each state, and whether your business can trade.
Victoria counts Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday all as public holidays. On Good Friday, only exempt shops are permitted to trade. According to Business Victoria’s website, exempt shops include:
- Shops with 20 or fewer persons employed at any time during Good Friday; and
- Shops with no more than 100 workers employed by the business and its related entities at any time during the seven days immediately before Good Friday.
Other exempt businesses include chemists, petrol stations, restaurants, cafes, takeaway outlets, service providers and hire outlets (including video stores).
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Those trading on any of these public holiday dates will have to pay penalty rates as they relate to the awards that cover their staff.
New South Wales
Similar to Victoria, New South Wales also counts the days from Good Friday to Easter Monday all as public holidays.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are restricted trading periods in New South Wales. This means only exempt businesses are permitted to open on those days. According to Industrial Relations NSW, there are a number of exemptions available wishing to trade on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with the ability to trade depending on the local government area where the business operates, the number of owners, and whether the business owns a hotel licence.
Queensland observes all four days across the Easter period as public holidays: Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This will be the second year Queensland classifies Easter Sunday as a public holiday.
Trading hours are restricted for some businesses across the entire Easter period, depending on the industry the business falls into. Some exempt shops include butchers, delicatessens, chemists and service stations.
South Australia considers Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday as public holidays — but not Easter Sunday.
Non-exempt businesses are not permitted to trade on Good Friday within the metropolitan area, but they can trade within the CBD from 11am – 5pm. Businesses that are exempt from the metropolitan trading restriction include pharmacies, cafes, restaurants, among others.
Western Australia observes Good Friday and Easter Monday as public holidays. All shops must be closed on Good Friday, unless the business falls within the exemption criteria.
In Tasmania, Good Friday and Easter Monday are considered public holidays across the state. Easter Tuesday is also observed as a public holiday by the public service, as well as under a range of employee awards and agreements.
Trading is not restricted on Good Friday, but businesses should review their awards or contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to confirm whether Easter Tuesday has any effect on their operations,
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT observes the four days between Good Friday and Easter Monday as public holidays. No trading restrictions are currently in place along the Easter period.
The Northern Territory observes Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday as public holidays. Easter Sunday is not considered a public holiday. No trading restrictions are currently in place across the Easter period.