Managing Easter absences

It’s almost Easter but that doesn’t always mean your business takes a break. Discover the HR issues you could encounter this public holiday weekend…

First published on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2024

Last updated on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024

2 min read

Although some of us are looking forward to a long weekend, public holidays are just normal working days for most businesses.

For some small and medium-sized businesses in Australia, it may even be one of the busiest periods in the calendar year. This year, Australian families are expected to spend over $2 billion on festive foods including hot cross buns and easter eggs alone.

Whether the Easter long weekend is a big business period for your company or if your operations will continue with a skeleton staff, if a working day falls on a public holiday that means you may encounter HR issues.

In fact, you might encounter more HR issues than normal and here’s why…

Holiday confusion

Easter has a habit of moving around the calendar and this can cause you a real headache. If you don’t keep an eye on the Easter dates, you could end up like a deer in headlights.

For example, Easter weekend landed in mid-April in 2022, early-April in 2023, and Easter Sunday falls on the last day of March this year.

Keeping an eye on these dates is important to make sure any work deadlines account for these public holidays, and to keep your payroll compliant.

Speaking of payroll...

Managing public holiday pay

The pay rate your employees are entitled to will depend on the modern award or enterprise agreement they are under.

If you have employees working on a public holiday, they may be entitled to public holiday penalty rates. These rates are generally higher than their normal pay rate. Under some awards, your employee may receive over 200% of their usual pay rate on a public holiday.

It’s important that you stay compliant with your payroll. Especially with wage theft laws coming into effect soon.

Need help navigating obligations under your relevant award or agreement? Reach out to our team of employment relations advisers with your BrightAdvice 24/7 phone line.

Handling parent holiday requests

Schools out. And that means you might be receiving more holiday requests than usual for Easter. Well, that’s according to our BrightHR data…

Data from previous years has revealed that holiday absence soared by 299% during the weeks on either side of Easter weekend. That’s compared to the average holiday absence per day.

How can you avoid getting bombarded with last-minute holiday requests? Make sure you have a comprehensive absence policy in place, so your employees know exactly how leave is allocated and the process they need to follow.

The easiest way to manage absences over Easter

With everything else you already have to contend with, you need a simple way to manage absences. And scraps of paper just won’t cut it…

Make your holiday management easier this Easter (and beyond) with BrightHR’s easy-to-use holiday planning software. Having the right tools in place to easily flag holiday clashes, and accept or decline leave requests in seconds, can help you make sure you stay adequately staffed through any public holiday.

Try it for yourself. Book your free BrightHR demo today.

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