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Public Holidays – Are they payable during periods of unpaid parental leave?

While the Fair Work Act does not prevent an employee from taking any other kind of paid leave while taking unpaid parental leave, a public holiday would not be regarded as being a type of paid leave.

While not addressed specifically in the Fair Work Act 2009, the Explanatory Memorandum to the Fair Work Bill 2008 does provides an illustrative example which states that where an employee is absent on unpaid parental leave, they would not be entitled to payment for a public holiday.

In addition to payment for public holidays, the Fair Work Act 2009 specifically provides that an employee will not be entitled to:

- paid personal/carer’s leave

- compassionate leave

-  payment under community service leave (which covers jury duty and volunteer  emergency  service activities)

during an absence on unpaid parental leave.

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