The President has declared the 27th of December 2022 to be public holiday in terms of Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act (PHA).
This year Christmas day (25th of December) falls on a Sunday and the Day of Goodwill (26th of December 2022) on a Monday.
The PHA provides that “whenever any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a public holiday.” The Labour Appeal Court (LAC) interpreted this to mean that where a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday should be a public holiday in addition to the Sunday.
In an announcement this morning, the Presidency explained the decision to declare the 27th of December 2022 a public holiday as follows:
“… If the holiday of Sunday, 25 December were to be moved to Monday, 26 December, this would cancel the holiday of 26 December or cause the two holidays – which are part of 12 paid public holidays annually – to overlap.
This would mean workers would only have 11 paid public holidays in this year, while Section 5 of the Public Holidays Act provides that ‘... every employee shall be entitled to ... at least the number of public holidays as provided for in this Act.’
In view of the unique circumstances around the 2022 calendar, and to uphold relevant labour law principles and practices, President Ramaphosa has declared Tuesday, 27 December, as a public holiday in lieu of Christmas Day."
What the above means for employers is that the 25th, 26th and 27th of December will attract public holiday rates for employees who work on those days.