The difference between a local event day and a local public holiday

almost 6 years ago
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In addition to public holidays, which cover the whole of NSW, there are also opportunities for regional holidays, known as local public holidays or local event days, which are granted usually at the request of a council within a local government area for a whole day or a part-day. These are requested to commemorate a day of special significance to the local community in the area concerned.


In addition to public holidays, which cover the whole of NSW, there are also opportunities for regional holidays, known as local public holidays or local event days, which are granted usually at the request of a council within a local government area for a whole day or a part-day. These are requested to commemorate a day of special significance to the local community in the area concerned.

There are no shop trading restrictions on these NSW local public holiday/local event days. However, banks located within an area which has had a local public holiday declared must close on the holiday unless approval to open on the day has been granted.

The Public Holiday Act 2010 provides for declaration of a local event day, local public holiday or half-day local public holiday.

The Act makes it clear that a local event day is not the same as a local public holiday. The public holiday provisions contained in the National Employment Standards of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), apply to local public holidays declared under the Public Holidays Act 2010.

This means that all employees, irrespective of their former entitlements and whose place of work is within a local public holiday area, will be entitled to be absent from work on the day or half day that is the local public holiday or half-day holiday. In addition, employees who work on the day or half day may then have an entitlement to penalty rates under a relevant award or enterprise agreement where previously that entitlement may not have existed.

Local Public Holiday

Declaration of a half-day local public holiday is seen as preferable to a full-day public holiday, as it will have a lesser impact on those employers and businesses affected, while still enabling the community to attend and enjoy Show Day.

Declaration of a local public holiday will require employers within the Lake Macquarie local government area to liaise with the NSW Department of Industrial Relations to find out if it is lawful for their business to open on 28 February 2014, and to check the appropriate public holiday wages and conditions with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

If Show Day is declared a local public holiday, a financial burden is placed on businesses in the Lake Macquarie local government area. This is due to the combined effect of the Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) and the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), by which employees in Lake Macquarie will be entitled to the day off with pay, or, if they are required to work, they may be entitled to penalty rates.   

Local Event Day

There will still be financial impacts on local businesses if Show Day is declared a local event day.  A local event day will only apply to workplaces where awards, agreements, or contracts with employees provide for the day to be treated as a public holiday. However, local businesses would be aware of and could have accounted for these impacts because of the recognition of the status of the Show Day in their relevant workplace contracts or agreements.

Consultation has concluded