National Day of Mourning public holiday – rates of pay, working arrangements

Published: 20 September 2022

As was recently announced, this Thursday 22 September 2022 will be a one-off public holiday for a National Day of Mourning to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen. 
Public holidays rarely emerge with such little notice, and since the announcement the QNMU has been seeking clarification from the Queensland Government regarding logistics of what this public holiday will mean for Queensland’s nurses and midwives.
Please note, the following information applies to permanent full time, part time and temporary employees.

Public sector

Queensland Health has now confirmed that it will be treated as a ‘special’ public holiday with the conditions that apply to other ‘special’ public holidays. That is, those nurses and midwives who work this public holiday will be paid double time and a half. If you do not work this holiday, or you are rostered off, you will be paid an additional day’s pay at the ordinary rate
If you are a Monday to Friday worker and you are not required to work, you will still be paid at the ordinary rate for a regular shift.
If you have an Accrued Day Off (ADO) scheduled for this Thursday, you must have your ADO moved to another day as you cannot be on an ADO on a public holiday. The ADO should be rescheduled to occur as soon as possible.
If you are on annual leave on the public holiday, you should have this day recredited to your leave balance and be paid ordinary rate for that day.
If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your line manager in the first instance.

Private sector (including aged care and private hospitals)

The majority of private sector enterprise agreements (EAs) provide for the penalty rate payment of 200% for any day declared by the State Government as a public holiday. Some aged care EAs provide for a 250% penalty rate for work on public holidays, whereas others only provide penalty rates for work on named public holidays that do not include the one-off public holiday on 22 September.
If this public holiday is normally a day of the week or fortnight that you would work but you are not required to work on the public holiday, you should be paid your ordinary rate for a regular shift.
If you would have been on annual leave or personal leave this Thursday, you are not on annual leave or personal leave on that day by law and your leave balances should not be reduced for that day off and you will be paid ordinary rate
If in doubt, please check your enterprise agreement, or contact your local payroll office or your line manager. If you require further assistance, please contact QNMU Member Connect.

Working arrangements

Hospitals have been told to proceed with elective surgeries where possible, but some non-urgent elective surgeries may be postponed on a case by case basis. These decisions will be made at the local level – if you are unsure about anything, please speak with your line manager. 
If you are rostered to work this public holiday but you now cannot work due to family and other commitments (eg: you cannot arrange suitable child care), you should speak with your line manager about alternative arrangements. If you cannot resolve your issue, contact the QNMU.