Nurses And Midwives: Know Your Penalty Rates


With a number of public holidays in April, nurses and midwives asked us to clarify what they’re entitled to. David from the Member Industrial Services Team at the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association has kindly collated this information to make sure you don’t miss out.

In New South Wales, the gazetted public holidays 2019 are:

  • New Year’s Day (1 Jan),
  • Australia Day (28 Jan),
  • Good Friday (19 Apr),
  • Easter Saturday (20 Apr),
  • Easter Sunday (21 Apr),
  • Easter Monday (22 Apr),
  • ANZAC Day (25 Apr),
  • Queen’s Birthday (10 Jun),
  • Labour Day (7 Oct),
  • Christmas Day (25 Dec) and,
  • Boxing Day (26 Dec).

In the public health system, the entitlements for public holidays are set out in the Public Health System Nurses and Midwives’ (State) Award 2018 and depend upon your employment status and how you are rostered. The below table sets out a summary of the entitlements:

Employment Status Rostered OFF Rostered ON (not required to work) Rostered ON (required to work)


Full time – Seven day basis

Clause 30(ii)(a)


Nil Not applicable

(Usually required to work when rostered on)


Full time – Other than seven day basis – Day Worker

Clause 30(ii)(c)


Nil 100% 150% +

One additional day of annual leave






Full time – Other than seven day basis – Shift Worker

Clause 30(ii)(c) and (d)





One additional day of annual leave


100% 150% +

One additional day of annual leave






Permanent Part Time

Clause 29.PART I.(v)

Nil 100%


150% +

One additional day of annual leave






‘Old’ Part Time (as at June 1986)

Clause 29.PART IV.(iii)



100% 250%

(No hourly allowance)



Clause 29.PART II.A.(v)


Nil Not applicable 250%

(No casual loading)


In each case, the pay rates are in place of any shift penalties that would have otherwise been paid had the day not been a public holiday.

In relation to those full time employees who do not work on a seven day basis, a day worker is a worker who works their ordinary hours from Monday to Friday inclusive and who commences work on such days at or after 6AM and before 10AM, otherwise than as part of the shift system. A shift worker is a worker who is not a day worker.

In relation to permanent part time employees the award provides at 29.PART I.(v) that when a public holiday occurs on a day of the week on which an employee regularly works, that employee shall be entitled to observe the public holiday without loss of pay. The employee’s roster must not be changed to avoid payment for the public holiday.

In the private system, public holiday entitlements will differ from employer to employer. To find the award or enterprise agreement that applies to you please click here.

If there’s an issue with your public holiday pay please notify your manager or payroll office in the first instance to discuss this issue. NSWNMA can assist you if you’re unable to resolve the problem with your employer.

Should you require advice about your public holiday entitlements please do not hesitate to contact our Information Team on 02 8595 1234 (Metro) or 1300 367 962 (Rural) or by emailing us at

Have further questions? NSWNMA Members can contact the Association for support here. To find out more benefits of being a member or to join the NSWNMA, visit this page.


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