Table of Contents

Public Holidays

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

There are 10 public holidays in Ireland:

  • New Years Day – 1st January
  • St Patrick’s Day – 17th March
  • St Brigid’s Day – 1st Monday in February, except where St Brigid’s day (1st Feb) happens to fall on a Friday, in which case that Friday 1st will be a public holiday.
  • 1st Monday of March
  • 1st Monday of June
  • 1st Monday of August
  • 1st 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, they must have satisfied the 40 hours in 5 weeks requirement above.
      • If their pay rate does not vary in relation their work, then their pay is the their rate time their normal daily hours last worked by them before the public holiday.
      • If the pay rate does vary then the daily rate is the average of the previous 13 weeks.
  • 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 in respect to the week before the public holiday
    • Part-time variable pay staff are entitled to 1/5th of their normal weekly pay, 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