Know Your Rights: Pay For Public Holidays

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: I work part-time from Wednesday to Friday. This year Christmas fell on a Tuesday. Should I get paid for Christmas Day, even though I didn’t work that day?  What about New Year’s Day which fell on the following Tuesday? 

Answer: Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day are public holidays. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not.

All workers are entitled to paid time off or pay for a public holiday. (Your employer can decide whether to give you time off or pay.)

Continued below…


Part-time workers must have worked for the employer for at least 40 hours in the previous five-week period to have a public holiday entitlement.

If you work part-time and the public holiday falls on a day that you usually work you are entitled to a day’s pay or a paid day off for the public holiday.

Part-time workers who are not rostered to work on a public holiday are also entitled to pay or to paid time off for the public holiday. This is one-fifth of their normal pay for the week as compensation for the holiday.

In your case, you should get one-fifth of your normal weekly pay for each of the two public holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

So you should get the additional pay or the equivalent amount of time off. Your employer can decide which option to give you.

If you have to work on a public holiday you are entitled to be paid at your usual rate and you are also entitled to either an additional day’s pay or a paid day off. You can get detailed information on employment rights from the website.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780. Outreach Services; Killorglin weekly, Dingle monthly, please call Tralee for more information.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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