Monday, December 5, 2016

Update Public holidays at Christmas

Know Your Rights: Public holidays at Christmas
December 2016
I work full-time, Monday to Friday. What days off will I get at Christmas?

Christmas Day (25 December), St Stephen’s Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January) are public holidays every year.

In 2016 Christmas Day falls on a Sunday and St Stephen's Day falls on a Monday. New Year's Day 2017 falls on a Sunday.

Where a public holiday falls on a weekend, you do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work. This means that, for example, Tuesday 27 December 2016 is not a public holiday. Your employer can require you to attend work on that day. Your public holiday entitlement for Christmas Day will be one of the following:

·         A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
·         An additional day of annual leave
·         An additional day's pay

Under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, you may ask your employer, at least 21 days before a public holiday, which of the alternatives will apply to you. Your employer should respond to you at least 14 days before the public holiday. In practice, many employers will give employees Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January off in lieu of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – but it is important to remember that this is not an automatic entitlement.

You can find out more about public holidays in the Explanatory Booklet on Holidays and Public Holidays (pdf) which is available from the Workplace Relations Commission website,
If you do not get your public holiday entitlement, you may make a complaint under the Organisation of Working Time Act within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the online complaint form available on

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

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