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FAQ: Public Holidays and Payroll over Christmas

Managing Public Holidays over Christmas

As we embrace the festive cheer and warmth of the holiday season here in Ireland, it's not just a time of celebration, but also a period filled with important public holidays that carry significant implications for both employers and employees. At SD Worx, formerly Intelligo, we understand the complexities this season can bring to your payroll and human capital management needs. That's why we've prepared this essential guide, tailored specifically to help you navigate holiday payroll management's legal and practical aspects of holiday payroll management with ease and confidence. Join us as we delve into the world of festive payroll, ensuring your season remains merry and stress-free. 

Related Article: Taxation Of Christmas Bonuses To Employees

    FAQ - Payroll

    Q1. How do public holidays affect the payroll process? 

    Public holidays can affect payroll processing, particularly when it comes to calculating overtime, time off in lieu, and additional pay for employees who work on these days. Employers should ensure their payroll systems are configured to handle these variations accurately. 

    Q2. How are public holiday entitlements determined for different types of employees? 

    Full-time employees have immediate entitlement to public holiday benefits, while part-time workers qualify if they have worked 40 hours in the five weeks before the public holiday.  

    Q3. What if a public holiday falls on a weekend? 

    Employees are still entitled to public holiday benefits, but there is no automatic right to have the next working day off. 

    Q4. How are employees on sick leave affected during public holidays? 

    Employees on certified sick leave during a public holiday retain their entitlements for up to 26 weeks for ordinary illnesses or accidents, and up to 52 weeks for occupational injuries. 

    Q5. What are the rules for employees who have to work on a public holiday? 

    Employees required to work on a public holiday are entitled to either a paid day off, an additional day’s pay, or a combination of these benefits.  

    Q6. How is overtime pay affected during public holidays? 

    Employees who work overtime on a public holiday may be entitled to additional pay. This often depends on the terms of their employment contract or collective agreement. Employers should clarify these terms to ensure compliance and transparency. 

    Q7. Are new employees entitled to public holiday benefits? 

    Full-time new hires are entitled to public holiday benefits from their first day. Part-time employees must meet the 40-hour threshold in the five weeks preceding the holiday to qualify. 

    Q8. Holiday Pay Examples: 

    Full-time Worker, Public Holiday on Non-Working Day: 

    • Example: An employee works full-time Monday to Friday. Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, a day they normally don’t work. 
    • Entitlement: The worker is entitled to the public holiday benefit, which includes receiving one-fifth of their normal weekly pay for Christmas Day, or the equivalent amount of time off. 

    Part-Time Worker, Working on Public Holiday: 

    • Example: An employee works part-time on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for 12 hours each day. A public holiday falls on a Monday, and they work their usual 12 hours. 
    • Entitlement: They are entitled to a total of 24 hours' pay for that day. 

    Part-Time Worker, Not Working on Public Holidays: 

    • Example: Same employee as above, but they are not required to work on the public holiday that falls on a Monday. 
    • Entitlement: They are entitled to 12 hours' pay for the public holiday. 

    Part-Time Worker, Public Holiday on Non-Working Day: 

    • Example: An employee works part-time on Monday and Tuesday. A public holiday falls on a Wednesday, which is not one of their normal working days, and they do not work on that day. 
    • Entitlement: The worker should receive one-fifth of their normal weekly pay for the public holiday or the equivalent amount of time off. The employer can choose which option to provide. 

    Q9. Are there dates to be aware of for payroll cut-offs 

    The SEPA TARGET closing days are critical for payroll processing, as payments will not be processed on these national holidays. Notably, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day are TARGET closing days. Payroll submissions should be planned accordingly to avoid delays. 

      FAQ - – Scheduling & Workforce Management

      Q1. If employees only work on weekends, how are they affected by public holidays? 

      Part-time employees who only work on weekends are eligible for public holiday benefits if they have worked 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday. They can receive additional pay, a paid day off, or an extra day of annual leave.  

      Q2. Can an employer refuse to grant a public holiday? 

      Employers cannot deny employees their entitlement to public holidays. However, they can decide whether to give a day off on the holiday itself, a substitute day off, or additional pay. The decision should align with employment law and the company's policy. 

      Q3. How should public holidays be managed for shift workers? 

      Shift workers are entitled to public holiday benefits if they meet the 40-hour work requirement in the 5 weeks before the holiday. Employers must consider the workers' usual patterns to determine their entitlements correctly. 

      Q4. What if a public holiday coincides with an employee’s day off? 

      If a public holiday falls on a day when an employee is normally off, they are still entitled to a public holiday benefit. This could be an additional day off, extra pay, or a day’s pay in lieu of the holiday. 


        FAQ - Employer Obligations 

        Q1. Are there any special considerations for temporary or contract employees? 

        Temporary or contract employees are also entitled to public holiday benefits if they meet the standard criteria, such as the 40-hour work requirement in the preceding five weeks. Employers should ensure these employees are treated fairly and in accordance with employment laws. 

        Q2. Are employees entitled to public holiday benefits during maternity or adoptive leave? 

        Yes, maternity or adoptive leave employees are entitled to public holiday benefits during their leave period.  

        Q3. Where can I find more detailed legal information on public holidays in Ireland? 

        Visit Citizen Information and Government of Ireland Publications for more information. 

          Problem solved with SD Worx, formerly Intelligo

          Navigating the complexities of public holiday payroll doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With SD Worx, formerly known as Intelligo, the intricacies of managing payroll during holidays become streamlined and efficient. Our advanced Workforce Management (WFM) and Time & Attendance (T&A) solutions are specifically designed to tackle the unique challenges that arise during the festive season. 

          • Workforce Management (WFM): Our WFM system provides an intuitive platform for managing staff schedules, and ensuring compliance with employment laws during public holidays. It simplifies the process of allocating resources, managing shift patterns, and tracking employee availability, making it easier to handle the surge in workload or changes in staffing requirements during the Christmas season. 
          • Time & Attendance (T&A): Accurate tracking of time and attendance is crucial, especially when dealing with varied holiday entitlements and work schedules. SD Worx’s T&A solutions offer precise tracking and reporting capabilities, ensuring that employees’ work hours, including overtime and holiday work, are accurately recorded and compensated. 

          By leveraging these solutions, businesses can ensure seamless payroll processing, compliance with legal requirements, and a more efficient management of the workforce during the holiday period. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes to employee satisfaction by ensuring fair and accurate compensation. 

          Ready to explore how SD Worx can transform your payroll and workforce management this festive season? Book a demo today and experience the ease and efficiency of our tailored solutions.


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