Days off over Easter – what are the rules?

Good Friday is not a public holiday. While some schools and businesses close on that day, employees do not have an automatic entitlement to time off work on that day. Employers can state whether their business is closing or not on that day.

If an employee is required to work on Good Friday, this should be treated as a normal day.
An employee’s entitlement to public holidays is set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. One exception is part-time employees who have not worked for their employer at least 40 hours in total in the 5 weeks before the public holiday.

Employees who qualify will be entitled to either the public holiday off as paid leave or one of the following alternatives:

  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day’s pay
  • The nearest church holiday to the public holiday as a paid day off

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