While some people are still packing away their flags and banners from the AFL Grand Final (well done to the Western Bulldogs!), many companies are preparing for the next public holiday. The next public holiday for Victorian employees is the Melbourne Cup holiday on 1 November.
If the 1st of November is a day that your employee (full-time or part-time) would normally work, then they are entitled to be paid for that day.
One of the common questions that can arise with this particular public holiday is “what about the Monday before?”
Some companies plan in advance to shut down for that day. If you plan on shutting down, there are requirements included in most awards, the Fair Work Act and sometimes in employment contracts. So check your plans against these documents to ensure you close down correctly. See below for more on shut downs.
However, most companies treat Monday as a normal working day and operate as normal. But what about if an employee would like to take the Monday off and enjoy a long, long weekend? Best practice is for you to jump on the front foot and address this issue ahead of time. Explain to your employees the need to apply for annual leave asap. Work out what numbers and types of employees your company needs to operate effectively. Approve those applications you can. Those you need to decline, address this in person with the effected employee and work out an alternative holiday or system for next year.
At the same time, outline your Personal Leave requirements for notification and medical certificates. Any requirement for a medical certificate must be in line with your company policy. If you don’t have any formal policy, explain your reasoning for the requirements. If an employee calls in sick on the Monday, take the opportunity to remind them of their obligations and follow this up on their return to work.
Explaining these obligations in advance can reduce potential headaches and allow you to relax and enjoy the day that stops the nation.