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Australia Harmonizes ANZAC Day Public Holiday Day In Lieu Rules

Source: Australian Associated Press
Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) has finally announced the long-awaited agreement to harmonize the treatment of the ANZAC Day public holiday, across all Australian states and territories, when ANZAC Day falls on a Sunday.

Currently, the Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria do not give any day in lieu when the ANZAC public holiday falls on a Sunday. However, the Premier of Victoria State, John Brumby, has already officially announced that Victoria State would follow the CAF agreement (2008-10-07). Tasmania, for its part, is officially still in consultations with business leaders but is expected to eventually also go along with the agreement.

Under the terms of the CAF agreement, effective in 2010, when ANZAC Day falls on a Sunday, all Australian states and territories will observe a day in lieu public holiday on the following working day.

Most of the time, the next working day will be Monday, April 26, but in 2011 and 2038, due to the late occurrence of Easter, the ANZAC Day public holiday day in lieu will be given on the following Tuesday (April 26, in 2011, and April 27, in 2038).

The CAF agreement does not, however, address the issue of harmonizing what happens when ANZAC Day falls on a Saturday, as it does in 2009, and which has led to strong reactions from unions (2009-01-08 and 2008-12-16). Currently, a Monday day in lieu is given when the ANZAC Day public holiday falls on a Saturday, only in the ACT and Western Australia (and the Western Australia dependencies of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands).

The agreement also leaves unanswered the question of what happens in the Australian state of Tasmania when the ANZAC Day public holiday moves to the next Tuesday due to Easter being late, as Easter Tuesday is already a public holiday in Tasmania. The terms of the CAF agreement would seem to imply, in such cases, that the Wednesday following ANZAC Day would become an additional public holiday. However, as we reported last year (2008-10-03), the business community of Tasmania is already resisting the addition of one public holiday, and are likely to resist even more the extending the Easter break from Saturday to Wednesday in 2011 (and 2038).


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