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Christmas 2020 Public Holidays for Salon Owners

Posted November 26, 2020

As salons and staff are getting ready for Christmas, the team behind the phones at HABA  have been getting a stack of phonecalls regarding public holidays during this Christmas season. With the Christmas Public Holidays falling close to the weekend, its important that salon owners understand their requirements for public holiday pay to ensure they stay compliant during what is hopefully the busiest period of the year in salon.


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.

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.



Friday 25 December is Christmas Day and a public holiday for all staff.
Friday 1 January is New Years Day and a public holiday for all staff.

Tuesday 26 January is Australia Day and a public holiday for all staff.


The complication comes in in 2020 for Boxing Day and New Years Eve for some states.


In ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC + WA, both Saturday 26 December (Boxing Day) and Monday 28 December are counted as Public Holidays. This means that public holiday penalty rates must be applied to staff working on either date.


In TAS + NT only Monday 28 December is counted as the public holiday.


In NT + SA, Thursday 31 December form 7pm – Midnight is considered a public holiday, and all employees must be paid the appropriate penalty rates for this time.


An option for salon owners, if you don’t believe that it is worth the hassle of trading over this complex public holiday period is to take some time off and enjoy the break. Many people get their hair and beauty appointments sorted prior to Christmas and those salon owners opening between Christmas and New Year may find appointments quieter than usual.


It is important for salon owners to know what the public holidays dates are before you create your roster and decide on your opening hours.

While the Christmas period and subsequent public holidays are always a little bit different, the key is to communicate 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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