This coming festive season we will have three public holidays in succession. First there is Christmas Day which falls on a Sunday. This is followed by the Day of Good Will on Monday, the 26th of December. In addition, we will now also be having a public holiday on 27 December 2016.
Last week the office of the Presidency announced that President Jacob Zuma has declared Tuesday, the 27th December 2016, a public holiday. The decision follows a request by the Federation of Trade Unions of South Africa. The request was motived by the fact that - according to the Public Holidays Act of 1994 - where a public holiday (in this instance Christmas day) falls on a Sunday, the Monday is a public holiday in addition to the Sunday. As Monday, the 26th December is already a public holiday (Day of Good Will), there will be an overlap of public holidays on that Monday.
The Presidency concluded its announcement as follows: “The declaration of the 27th December as a public holiday will ensure that employees are not unduly deprived of public holidays due to this unusual event and are still entitled to their 12 paid public holidays.”
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.