Public Holidays Ireland

Christmas baubles
Christmas baubles

Public holidays in Ireland, a well earned day off for staff and a headache for payroll.

There are 9 public holidays in Ireland:

  • New Years Day – 1st January
  • St Patrick’s Day – 17th March
  • First Monday of March
  • First Monday of June
  • First Monday of August
  • First Monday of October
  • Christmas Day – 25th December
  • St Stephens Day – 26th December

The following are not public holidays and should be treated as annual leave if not worked:

  • Good Friday
  • Christmas Eve
  • New Years Eve

Point 1, an employee is entitled to the employers choice of the following in respect to the day:

  • A paid day off on that day, or
  • A paid day off within a month of that day, or
  • An additional day of annual leave, or
  • An additional day’s pay.

OK, straight forward enough. Here’s where it gets tricky,,,

Who is entitled to a public holiday?

  • Full-time employees are immediately entitled to the full benefit of the public holiday, even if they started work the day before.
  • Part-time/casual employees must have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks ending on the day of the holiday.

And trickier still…

What is their entitlement?

  • When an employee normally works, or is scheduled to work, on the day of the public holiday:
    • Full time staff are entitled to one of the benefits under Point 1.
    • If they are part time, and have worked 40 hours in 5 weeks prior to the public holiday, they are entitled to a pro rata of one of the benefits under Point 1. 
  • When they are not normally scheduled to work the day of the public holiday:
    • Full-time staff are entitled to 1/5th of their normal working week. 
    • Part-time variable pay staff are entitled to 1/5th of their normal weekly pay even if they do not normally work on that particular day. The amount of pay due is  subject to a maximum of a normal days pay calculated over a period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the public holiday, OR the 13 weeks before the last worked day.

Regular or normal weekly pay includes regular bonuses, allowances etc but excludes overtime.

These rules cover most scenarios. There is further information available at Citizens Advice. Other topics covered are:

  • Job Sharers
  • Sick leave and work absences
  • Employees when hours have changed