by Anne Lyne February-02-2022 in Employment Law, COVID-19

The Government announced recently a one-off public holiday for Friday 18 March 2022 as a national commemoration of those who lost their lives to Covid and to recognise the contribution of frontline workers. This will give a 4-day weekend as the holiday falls directly after St Patrick’s day.

In a further boost to workers from 2023 onwards a new public holiday has been added to the annual public holiday calendar bringing the total number to ten. The Government have said that this is to bring Ireland in line with norms in other European countries.

The new holiday in honour of St Brigid's day (1 February) will take place on the first Monday of February, or if St Brigid’s day falls on a Friday the long weekend will fall on that day instead.

Public holiday v bank holidays

The public holidays from 2023 are:

  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • First Monday in February, or 1 February if the date falls on a Friday (from 2023 onwards)
  • St Patrick's Day (17 March)
  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in May
  • First Monday in June
  • First Monday in August
  • Last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Saint Stephen's Day (26 December)

Good Friday is often confused as a public holiday. Although many offices are closed it is not a public holiday but is often referred to as a bank holiday. There are no statutory legal entitlements to bank holidays, but many businesses may close as custom and practice or require staff to hold a day of annual leave for this day.

Public holiday entitlements

Public holidays entitlements are set out under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. The 1997 Act establishes that an employee is entitled to whichever one of the following that their employer chooses, such as

  1. a paid day off on that day
  2. a paid day off within a month of that day
  3. an additional day of annual leave
  4. an additional day's pay

Part-time employees may have different entitlements in respect of public holidays.  

The rate of pay for public holidays is set out in Regulations and there can be different calculations depending on pay rates and hours worked.

For more information on any of the issues raised above, please contact Anne Lyne or any member of our Employment Law team. 

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