This month St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday. As this is a day that many Organisations will not be open, it is commonly thought that the public holiday simply transfers directly to the following Monday.

While this will be the case for many Organisations, it is in fact at the discretion of the Employer to decide what public holiday benefit they provide to Employees. To comply with the law in this regard, Employers must provide one of the following public holiday benefits:

  1. A paid day off on that day,
  2. A paid day off within a month of that day,
  3. An additional day of annual leave,
  4. An additional day’s pay.

So, although many Organisations that do not open on Sundays will provide staff with a paid day off on the Monday following the public holiday, there are alternative public holiday benefits that can be provided to Employees that will also comply with the law.

Full time v Part time
Full time Employees will automatically be entitled to one of the benefits outlined above in respect of the public holiday.

Part-time Employees will need to have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks preceding the public holiday to qualify for a public holiday benefit. If part-time Employees have worked 40 hours in the 5 weeks preceding the public and are not required to work on the public holiday, they are entitled to receive one-fifth of their average weekly wage. If their average weekly wage varies from week to week, it is recommended that you seek an average from the previous 13 weeks worked.

For the purposes of the above, an additional day’s pay is determined as the previous day worked to the public holiday. However, this does not always equate to double time.

Common Public Holiday Scenarios

  1. Employee A normally works on Sundays, however the Organisation closes on public holidays. Therefore, Employee A is entitled to receive a paid day off on St. Patrick’s Day (i.e. option a above).
  2. Employee B works 5 days a week and is not required to work on St. Patrick’s Day as the Organisation only operates Monday – Friday. The Organisation has elected to close on Monday, 18th March 2024 to mark the public holiday instead. Therefore, Employee B will be entitled to receive a paid day off on Monday, 18th March 2024 (i.e. option b above).
  3. Employee C is required to work on St. Patrick’s Day. The Organisation has chosen to remain open on Monday, 18th March 2024 also. Therefore, Employee C is entitled to receive an additional day’s annual leave for that year (i.e. option c above).
  4. Employee D is required to work on St. Patrick’s Day (17th March 2024) as the Organisation will be open. Employee D is entitled to receive payment for any hours worked on the 17th March 2024, plus an additional day’s pay (i.e. option d above).

Public holiday entitlements can pose compliance problems for Employers. For expert advice on public holidays or any aspect of the Organisation of Working Time Act, contact the team at Adare – / 01 561 3594.