Many employers and employees alike can be confused as to whether there is a legal entitlement to a day off work on Good Friday.

In Ireland, there are nine public holidays, as follows:-

  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Stephen’s Day (26 December)
  • Patrick’s Day (17 March)
  • Easter Monday
  • the first Monday in May
  • the first Monday in June
  • the first Monday in August
  • the last Monday in October
  • New Year’s Day

On these days, an employee is entitled to whichever of the following the employer determines in respect of a public holiday:-

(a) a paid day off on that day;

(b) a paid day off within a month of that day;

(c) an additional day of annual leave;

(d) an additional day’s pay

Therefore, Good Friday is not a public holiday and so employees do not have a legal entitlement to a paid day off work on that day. If employees do not wish to work on that day then they will have to use a day from their annual leave.

However, if an employer has always given their staff a paid day off on Good Friday, then it can be argued that a precedent has been established in the workplace and if the employer subsequently tries to change this arrangement they could run into difficulties with their staff.

If you are not sure if your workplace is minimally compliant with Irish Employment Law then please do not hesitate to contact me.