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Public Holidays

In Ireland there are ten public holidays each year.

From 2023, there is a public holiday on the first Monday in February, except where 1st February falls on a Friday in which case that Friday 1st February will be the public holiday.

Public holidays are:

New Year’s Day (1st January)

First Monday in February

St. Patrick’s Day (17th March)

Easter Monday

First Monday in May

First Monday in June

First Monday in August

Last Monday in October

Christmas Day (25th December)

St. Stephen’s Day (26th December)

Good Friday is not a public holiday and is a normal working day.

In respect of a public holiday, the employee is entitled to whichever of the following his/her employer determines:

  • a) a paid day off on that day
  • b) a paid day off within a month of that day
  • c) an additional day of annual leave
  • d) an additional day of pay

Full-time workers have immediate entitlement to benefit for public holidays and part-time workers have entitlement to benefit when they have worked a total of 40 hours in the previous 5 weeks.

When a person works on a public holiday they are entitled to be paid for the day in accordance with their agreed rates. In addition, they also have an entitlement to benefit for the public holiday. This can be different for each public holiday and each employee depending on the individual's work pattern.

If the business is closed on the public holiday and an employee would normally be due to work, then they get their normal day's pay.

If the business is open and an employee works, he/she is entitled to either paid time off or an additional day's pay. The additional day's pay is what was paid for the normal daily hours last worked before the public holiday.

If an employee is not normally rostered to work, then they will be entitled to one-fifth of their normal weekly wage extra.

If an employee ceases to be employed during the week ending on the day before a public holiday, having worked during the 4 weeks preceding that week, he/she is entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.

Where the public holiday falls on a day which is not a normal working day for that business (e.g. a Saturday or Sunday) employees still have entitlement to benefit (b, c or d above can be given as the benefit options).  However, there is no legal entitlement to have the next working day off work.

If a person is on temporary lay-off they are entitled to benefit for the public holidays that fall within the first thirteen weeks of lay-off.

A copy of the Act may be viewed or downloaded here – Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997