Business owners who usually schedule team members to work on public holidays should be aware that they can no longer assign employees to work these days by default. Instead, a request process must be implemented.

On 28 March 2023, the Federal Court ruled that employers are required to request an employee’s consent to work on a public holiday. This decision is effective immediately.

As a result, employers can no longer just go about rostering people on for public holidays without consent.

For those responsible for rostering, please consider, seriously, how you will manage this process moving forward.


Here are a few tips to ensure you comply with this recent change:

  1. Review and update your rostering procedures and policies
    Include a section that covers public holiday requests and provides clear steps on the response process.
  2. Open communication
    Inform your employees about the changes in the rostering process and have regular channels [team meetings, emails, internal messaging] where the process is repeated and there are opportunities for questions and responses.
  3. Train people
    Ensure that anyone responsible for rostering is aware of the new regulations and understands the correct procedures for requesting employees to work on public holidays.

It is difficult as an employer, to keep on top of things and we often don’t realise there has been a change to a process or a ruling. Lean on your payroll/HR team to help with this. Ask for advice or guidance to enable you to implement a change that is both practical for your business while following the legal requirements.


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If you need assistance or guidance with this process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our People + Culture experts at or give us a buzz on 1300BDEPOT.


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general advice disclaimer

The information provided on this website is a brief overview and does not constitute any type of advice. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided is accurate however information may become outdated as legislation, policies, regulations, and other considerations constantly change. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision. Please consult with an appropriate professional before making any decision.


Originally authored by Anna Chipperfield.