Easter Public Holidays Across Australian States and How They Differ


Easter is a significant celebration across Australia, marked by a series of public holidays that vary from state to state. Whether you're planning business operations, staffing, or just looking forward to a long weekend, it's important to know which days are recognized as holidays in your region.

Here’s a general guide to Easter public holidays across Australia:

National Observances

Generally, the following days are recognized as public holidays in many parts of Australia:

  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday

These days provide a chance for families to gather and celebrate, and for many, to attend religious services associated with Easter.

Easter Holidays (1)
* Easter Tuesday is a holiday Government employees in TAS only

State-Specific Holidays

Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Victoria (VIC), Northern Territory (NT)
  • Easter Saturday (Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday are also public holidays in these states, extending the holiday period to include a four-day long weekend.
Western Australia (WA)
  • Easter Sunday was officially recognized as a public holiday starting from 2022, in addition to Good Friday and Easter Monday. However, Easter Saturday is not a public holiday here.
Tasmania (TAS)
  • Easter Tuesday is an additional holiday, but it is unique in that it is observed only by certain government employees. The general public has Good Friday and Easter Monday as their official holidays.

Practical Implications

The variation in public holiday dates can affect various sectors differently:

  • Businesses may need to adjust their operations, particularly those in the hospitality and retail industries, to accommodate state-specific holiday observances.
  • Employees should check their entitlements as some may have additional days off depending on their state’s observances and their specific employment agreements.
  • Travelers planning holiday getaways during the Easter period should book early, as it’s a popular time for domestic travel given the extended holidays in many regions.

The variation in Easter public holiday dates across Australian states and territories has significant implications for payroll management. Here’s a breakdown of how these differences can affect businesses and their payroll processes:

Payroll Implications

1. Understanding State-Specific Public Holidays

Each state and territory in Australia may have different public holidays during the Easter period, affecting when employees are legally entitled to be off work and how they should be compensated. This requires employers to be acutely aware of the specific holidays recognized in their state:

  • Good Friday and Easter Monday are observed nationally.
  • Easter Saturday (Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday are recognized in many states, but not all (e.g., not in Western Australia for Easter Saturday).
  • Easter Tuesday in Tasmania is a public holiday for government employees only, adding a unique element for certain payroll calculations.
2. Adjusting Payroll for Public Holidays

Payroll departments must adjust their payroll processing to accommodate these holidays, which typically involve:

  • Paying for Public Holidays: Most Australian employees are entitled to their base rate of pay for the ordinary hours they would have worked on that day, even if they do not work on the public holiday.
  • Overtime Pay: Employees who work on public holidays may be entitled to higher pay rates (often double time or double time and a half), depending on their award or employment contract.
  • Shift Workers: The implications for shift workers can be particularly complex, as the timing of public holidays may affect not just pay for those days but also the designation of what constitutes overtime or regular hours.
3. Compliance and Penalties

Employers must comply with the Fair Work Act and relevant state laws, which govern public holiday rights and compensation. Failure to properly pay employees for public holidays can result in penalties and damage to an organization's reputation.

4. Payroll Software and Calendar Management

Effective payroll management during Easter requires up-to-date payroll systems that can adjust to the complexities of state-specific public holidays. Employers should ensure their payroll software is programmed with the correct public holidays for each location where they have employees. This often means:

  • Setting up custom calendars for different branches or divisions based on state.
  • Manually verifying the dates, especially if Easter Sunday or other less commonly observed holidays are recognized in the area of operation.
5. Employee Communication

It’s important for businesses to communicate clearly and effectively with their employees about how Easter public holidays will affect their pay and work schedules. This helps to manage expectations and reduces the risk of disputes or dissatisfaction.

By staying informed about the specifics of Easter public holidays in your area, you can plan more effectively for business operations, employee schedules, and personal celebrations.