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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted January 21, 2019

As salons and staff are getting back into the swing of things post-Christmas, it sometimes seems counter intuitive for Australians to have another public holiday so soon after the Christmas and New Year Break. And this year, Australia Day is a particularly tricky one for salon owners to navigate due to the way the holiday falls.


HABA members are advised that this year, the Australia Day public holiday will fall on Monday, 28 January 2019. In each State and Territory, when 26 January falls on a Saturday, the date of the public holiday is moved to the following Monday. This means that employees rostered to work on 26 January 2019 this year will not be entitled to take the day off unless they have another legitimate reason to do so. Legitimate reasons could include approved annual leave, not being rostered on that day or a genuine emergency or sickness.


It is important for salon owners to properly understand their rights when it comes to this unusual alignment of public holidays as many staff members will seek to take advantage of the situation.

An option for salon owners, if you don’t believe the day is worth trading on, is to simply close the salon for the day – many people specifically celebrate on the 26th of January, regardless of the public Holiday, and so you may find appointments are significantly lower than usual.


Permanent employees absent on a public holiday must be paid at least at the employee’s base rate of pay for their ordinary hours of work on that day. Employees whose ordinary hours of work do not fall on the public holiday (such as casual employees not rostered on the day or part-time employees who would not otherwise have worked on the relevant day of the week) are not entitled to paid absence on the day.


For employers covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010, work performed by full-time, part-time and casual workers on the public holiday must be paid at the rate of double time and a half. Please note that differing entitlements may arise, depending on your employment contract, individual flexibility arrangement or enterprise agreement.


The Australia Public Holiday in 2019 is certainly unusual, but the key is to communicate you’re your team early about what you expect of them and what the operating situation will be on the day. We encourage you to speak to your team TODAY about the public holiday to ensure that there is no confusion or misunderstanding. Members who are unsure how the public holiday will affect them should call Hair and Beauty Australia on 02 9221 9911.


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