REMINDER: Additional Public Holidays applicable in Queensland this Festive Season

With Christmas fast approaching, most employers would have already noticed that Queensland will observe an additional public holiday for Boxing Day this year. With 26 December falling on a Saturday, the Holidays Act 1983 – which governs the setting of public holidays in Queensland – specifies that an additional public holiday will be observed for Boxing Day on Monday, 28 December 2020. This means, in Queensland, BOTH dates of 26 December 2020 and 28 December 2020 will be recognised public holidays for Boxing Day. The typical benefits of public holidays subsequently apply to BOTH dates, not one date or the other.

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IR Bill seeks clarity for casual employment dilemma

On 9 December, IR Minister, Christian Porter, introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Bill) to Parliament. Among other aspects, the Bill seeks to provide a definition of casual employment with the intent of reducing “ongoing confusion about the legal status of casual employment” which the Minister claims is currently stifling the hiring decisions of employers.

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Failure to consult costs COVID-impacted employer $1K, again

In October, we reported on the limited compensation awarded to a vehicle leasing consultant who was made redundant within days of the announcement of the JobKeeper scheme, causing him to lose out on potentially thousands of dollars in wage subsidy payments (see our related article). The Fair Work Commission has now been called upon to examine the termination of one of his co-workers, which was also occasioned in April by way of redundancy owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and having found the dismissal to be unfair, has, for the second time in a matter of months, ordered the employer to observe a week’s wages in compensation.  

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Full Bench further clarifies ‘regular and systematic’ casual employment equation

A hospitality worker has won the right to pursue her unfair dismissal application after a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) confirmed Deputy President Binet wrongly dismissed the application in September, when she disregarded the employee’s initial period of casual employment to determine the worker had not served the minimum employment period.  

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2021 Queensland Public Holiday Calendar

Subscribers, login to your online account, go to ‘Fact Sheets’ and scroll down to the ‘Pay’ subheading to download a handy PDF list of all of the 2021 Public Holidays for Queensland. Don’t forget, there are some additional public holidays in force over the Christmas/New Year period this year (see our related article).