Work Holidays Legislation

Organisation of Working Time Act 1997

//Work Holidays Legislation
Work Holidays Legislation 2017-11-09T20:19:48+00:00

Annual Leave:

• 4 working weeks where at least 1365 hours have been worked in the leave year or
• One third of a working week where the employee works at least 117 hours in a calendar month or
• 8% of the hours worked in a leave year.
• A “leave year” begins on 1 April each year.
• Periods of sick leave are not counted as hours worked but maternity leave and parental leave are.
Holiday pay must be paid in advance. If the pay is static it is the normal rate for the working hours in the week immediately preceding the holiday. If it varies it is the average for the normal working hours in the 13 weeks before the holiday.

The employer can determine the time of annual leave but must give one month’s notice and have regard for the
employee’s family circumstances. Annual leave must be taken within the leave year or by agreement within six months of its end. Pay cannot be given in lieu. If an employee falls ill on annual leave, it shall not be counted as annual leave.

Public Holidays

All employees are entitled to public holidays but may at the option of the employer be given either a paid day off or a paid day off within a month or an extra day’s annual leave or an additional day’s pay.

Current public holidays are:

• 1 January (New Year’s Day)
• St Patrick’s Day
• Easter Monday
• the first Monday in May
• the first Monday in June
• the first Monday in August
• the last Monday in October
• Christmas Day
• St Stephen’s Day
The employer can be requested not more than 21 days before the public holiday to nominate the option he proposes to take.


No entitlement where employees are absent from work for 52 weeks due to an occupational illness; 26 weeks in the case of other illness or injury; 13 weeks for authorised absence. No entitlement during a strike.

Public Holiday Work

An employee who normally works on a public holiday is entitled to an additional day’s pay. Otherwise they are entitled to 1/5 of a week’s pay.

The calculation of pay for a public holiday is the same as that for annual leave.

Where an employee leaves employment on the week ending on the day before a public holiday then they will be entitled to pay for that holiday provided they have worked for the employer during the preceding four weeks.

Procedures and Enforcement

A claim may be brought, in writing, to a Rights Commissioner within 6 months of the date of any contravention (twelve months where “reasonable cause” is shown for the failure to bring a claim within 6 months). If the employee issues other claims, such as redundancy payment, then any holiday claim can be added to the redundancy claim instead of separate proceedings.


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