Respect news

Posted on
November 24, 2020
Aged Care Sector

Day workers and public holidays

We’ve heard a few concerns about day workers being routinely rostered to work public holidays.
There isn’t necessarily an issue in having Respect ask staff to work one, but being asked is very different to being rostered - plus, while they have a right to request, staff have a right to reasonably refuse - so we’ve spoken to Respect and we’re hopeful this issue can be addressed.
Any day worker rostered to work a public holiday has the right to refuse if the request isn’t reasonable or if there's a reasonable reason to refuse, and what counts as 'reasonable' depends on the circumstances and it can a bit messy when there are competing claims.
While it isn’t exactly black and white, some of the relevant considerations in determining what’s reasonable include the following:

  • The employee's personal circumstances such as family responsibilities
  • Whether the employee will get more pay such as penalty rates
  • The needs of the workplace
  • The type of work the employee does
  • Whether the employee's salary includes work on a public holiday
  • Whether the employee is full-time, part-time, casual or a shift worker
  • How much notice the employee was given about working
  • The amount of notice the employee gives that they refuse to work

Remember, you can be reasonably requested to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes reasonably refuse.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector