Employment: Holiday/leave

Rest day

An employee who is employed under a continuous contract is entitled to not less than one rest day in every period of seven days. A rest day is defined as a continuous period of not less than 24 hours during which an employee is entitled to cease working. Rest days are not equivalent to statutory holidays. An employee employed under a continuous contract is entitled to have rest days AND statutory holidays.

Rest days are appointed by the employer. They can be granted on a regular or irregular basis. The employer has to inform the employee of the arrangements. If a statutory holiday falls on a rest day, then it should be taken on the day following the rest day.

If your employer orders you to work on Sunday or your usual rest day, you may reject such an order because an employer must not compel an employee to work on a rest day except in the event of a breakdown of machinery or plant or in any other unforeseen emergency. However, employees may work voluntarily on a rest day. The employer should substitute another rest day within 30 days after the original rest day.

Employers who fail to grant rest days to employees or compel employees to work on their rest days are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $50,000.