It would not be the Christmas and New Year period without some confusion regarding what members are entitled to claim on the many public holidays across the period.

As a reminder, the relevant public holidays are:

Christmas Eve – 1800 to 2400 (part-day public holiday)
Friday, 24 December 2021

Christmas Day
Saturday, 25 December 2021

Boxing Day
Sunday, 26 December 2021

27 December (Christmas Day Additional Public Holiday)
Monday, 27 December 2021

28 December (Boxing Day Additional Public Holiday)
Tuesday, 28 December 2020

New Year’s Day
Saturday, 1 January 2022

3 January (New Year’s Day Additional Public Holiday)
Monday, 3 January 2022

The Auxiliary Firefighters Award – State 2016 states –

26. Public holidays
(a) Public holidays are provided for in Division 7 of the QES. Clauses 26(b) and (c) supplement the QES provisions.
(b) An auxiliary firefighter who is required to work on a public holiday will be paid at the rate of double time and one-half for any hours worked, with a minimum payment of 4 hours' work for the day.
(c) Where an alternative day is declared for a public holiday, the penalty payment and minimum payment prescribed in clause 26(b) shall only be payable for work performed on the day normally attributable to the public holiday (e.g. 1 January) and not another substituted day in lieu.

This means that for any work during the periods set out above, you are entitled to double time and a half, with a minimum of four hours pay on any of the days where you’re required to work (work of any type).

You will recall your union explained how the four hours minimum works in an Auxiliary Update dated 30 April 2021, which included this explanation –

Calculation of payment for public holiday work
The minimum entitlement of 4 hours payment for the day operates alongside the ordinary 2-hour engagement period for each call-in.

This means that, for work that you perform on a public holiday, you should receive the following:
1. A minimum of four hours’ pay at the public holiday rate (double time and half), regardless of time actually worked. The four hours’ payment commences when you start work on the day, and buys out any work performed during that 4-hour period.
2. All other call in work performed after that 4-hour block is remunerated at the same public holiday penalty rate, for a minimum of 2 hours for each call in.
For example, if you were called in at 1000h on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday for 30 minutes, and then again at 1200h for 1 hour, and again at 1600h for 15 minutes, you would claim the following:
4 hours at double time and a half (for the work performed within the four-hour block between 10am and 2pm)
2 hours at double time and a half (for the call in at 4pm).

I hope all Auxiliary Firefighters have a safe Christmas period and that you get to spend some time with family and friends.

John Oliver - General Secretary

Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary 
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD