ASU Members Win Right to Public Holiday Swap

13 November 2023

ASU members have won the right to request to swap public holidays after a member-led push to win more flexible and inclusive workplaces


The Fair Work Commission has agreed with the ASU that our award, the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010, needed to change to accommodate the needs of our modern diverse disability and community services workforce.   

How do public holiday swaps work? 

Under the new clause 34.3, you can ask to work on a public holiday and take another day as a substitute public holiday instead. The substitute public holiday would be a day agreed between you and your employer. Public Holiday Swaps can only be initiated by the employee. This means your employer can’t ask you to change your public holiday.  

You will be paid your normal rate of pay when you work on the original public holiday. If you’re asked to work on your substitute public holiday  you’ll earn public holiday rates. Public holiday rates are 250% of your normal hourly rate for permanent part time/full time employees and 275% for casuals.  

When could I swap public holidays? 

  • If you don’t celebrate Easter you could ask to work on the Easter Monday public holiday and instead take time off to celebrate something important to your own cultural or religious background, such as Diwali. 
  • If you would prefer to work on the King's Birthday or ‘Australia Day’, which is a day of mourning for many Indigenous Australians, and take another day off instead.   
The ASU is proud to have been at the forefront of pushing for modern and flexible entitlements that improve the lives of workers, such as progressive parental leave policies, a four-day work week, the right to disconnect, and now the right to substitute public holidays. 

If you are not already a member, now is the time to join. You can join online here.   

I joined because I wanted someone to be by my side, someone that would actually have my back if anything went wrong
Clifford Out of Home Care Support Worker