19 September, 2022

National day of mourning public holiday proclaimed

Blog | Industry News

The Governor of South Australia proclaimed that Thursday, 22 September 2022 would be a public holiday. Here’s what this means for your business.

State and Territory Public Holidays

Additional public holidays must be declared in each State or Territory in accordance with their own respective legislation.[1] In South Australia, for example, an additional public holiday may be proclaimed by the Governor.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that Thursday, 22 September 2022 would be a national day of mourning following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor of South Australia has proclaimed this as a public holiday.

If your business is in a different state or territory, you should check your local regulatory body’s website. A list of these websites (with links) can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website here.

What does this mean for my business?

There are various rules which may apply to your business in relation to public holidays, which could include restrictions on trading hours. Employers should check with their local regulatory body or business advisor if there are any rules and/or restrictions that may affect them.

For employee entitlements, the effect of a declared public holiday will be that an employee will be entitled to be absent on that day without loss of pay under the National Employment Standards.[2] Employers may only request the employee to work on the public holiday if that request is “reasonable” (as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)). If an employee works on the public holiday, they may be entitled to payment of penalty rates depending on the industrial instrument (or contract) that applies to their employment.

Most modern awards refer to the National Employment Standards for public holidays and provide a penalty rate for work performed on a public holiday. Many enterprise agreements also provide a specific penalty rate for work on a public holiday. Employers will need to check the terms of their awards, enterprise agreements, and individual contracts of employment to confirm whether their employees (who work on the public holiday) are entitled to penalty rates.

We recommend you communicate with your employees and advise them what the effects of the 22 September 2022 public holiday will be on them.

Require further information/assistance?

This EMA Note is not comprehensive advice about your situation and does not cover all your obligations. If you require further information or advice, please contact your Consultant.

[1]Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) s 115.n[2]Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) s 114.

EMA Consulting is not a law firm and therefore does not provide legal advice or services. The information contained within this document and associated material is general in nature and should not be relied upon. If you require specific advice on a particular matter, we recommend that you contact EMA Consulting on 08 8203 1700. Subject to the matter at hand, your EMAC Consultant may recommend that you obtain formal legal advice. If formal legal advice is required, upon your written instruction EMAC will brief your matter to a legal practitioner for this purpose. The contents of this document and associated materials do not represent legal advice.


For more information or specific advice, please do not hesitate to contact one of our employee relations consultants.

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