Skip to main content

Time and a half and penal rates

Employees working on a public holiday get at least one and a half times (time and a half) their relevant daily pay or average daily pay for the hours worked.

Time and a half

In most cases, time and a half is easy to work out. Employees who have regular hours each week, are paid an hourly rate and no additional payments, are entitled to one and a half times that rate for the time worked on a public holiday.

The employment agreement should ideally include how this payment for working on a public holiday is worked out if the employee is likely to work on a public holiday.

The employee's average daily pay can be used to calculate the payment for an employee working on a public holiday. This is helpful when an employee’s pay varies within the pay period, or the relevant daily pay can’t be worked out.

Penal rates

A penal rate is an additional amount that the employer and employee agree will be paid to the employee for working on a particular day or type of day.

Examples include a:

  • Saturday payment
  • Sunday payment
  • public holiday payment.

Allowances, such as wet weather money, overtime rates and special rates for working a sixth or seventh day are not penal rates.

A penal rate may be specified in an employment agreement.

If a public holiday falls on such a day and the employee works on that day, they get paid the greater of:

  • the portion of their relevant daily pay or average daily pay that relates to the time actually worked on the day including any penal rate in the employment agreement, or
  • the portion of their relevant daily pay or average daily pay that relates to the time actually worked on the day excluding any penal rate plus half that portion again (ie time and a half).

The employee isn’t entitled to time and a half on top of the penal rate.

Still haven't found what you're looking for?