What is an otherwise working day?

Otherwise Working Day (definition)

The Otherwise Working Day calculation is vital to determine what an employee should be paid for a public holiday. A day is considered an OWD for an employee if it is a day they would normally work. In many cases, this is easy to determine, but for some employees with variable working patterns, OWDs aren't so clear-cut.

There are several factors to consider when determining an OWD for an employee:

  • The employment agreement.

  • The employee's Work Patterns (Our automated Public Holidays and OWDs that are set up in PayHero will look at using these to determine an employee's OWD).

  • Whether the employee only works for the employer when work is available.

  • If there are reasonable expectations between the employee and the employer that the employee would work that day.

However, a rule of thumb recommended in the Holidays Act Review is if an employee has worked 50% or more of the corresponding days in the previous four or 13 weeks then it is an OWD for them. 

Once you know what is and isn’t a working day for an employee, you can determine what they should be paid. We’ve distilled a handy little chart for you to refer to that we hope will make payroll much easier after the next public holiday.

Did the employee work on the public holiday?

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