Holiday Plans: Handling Public Holidays As a Contractor

Posted on April 2016 By Speller International
Contracting Public Holidays

​ Public holidays aren’t quite as exciting when you’re not getting paid. So how does a contractor ensure the best outcome in terms of projects and pay when it comes to holidays?

March has been flush with public holidays: Labour Day (VIC & WA), Eight Hours Day (TAS), Adelaide Cup (SA), Canberra Day (ACT), and the Easter break around the country. It can be tricky when contracting to plan ahead for so many days out of the office (and without pay!)

So how do contract negotiations work when you are faced with a period full of public holidays, especially if, for example, you have a 4-5 week contract in a month like March? Read on to find out!

Talk the Talk

Basically, it’s all about communication and putting together a deal that works for both you and your employer. Firstly, try and make the company aware of the upcoming holidays and resulting time away from work. If money and time are a concern, try to secure an additional week on the contract. This way you can ensure you get all of the paid days you would in a normal work period and you definitely have enough time to complete the work required.

Don’t Do It All For Love

Periods with a lot of public holidays can be busy – which can mean overtime. Make sure if you do work late hours and weekends your line manager approves in advance. And don’t work for free! It’s good to love your job and the occasional favour is great, but we can’t work just for love.

Take Time Into Your Own Hands

Further to the above, not much can be done with public holidays regarding pay but you may be able to arrange to work on the weekends and/or late nights. If you do factor this into your contract, be sure to leave time to rest, relax and reinvigorate yourself.

Remember the Important Things

Ultimately, the main thing is that public holidays are fun and should be seen as a day to rest, and enjoy time with family and friends over a BBQ and a cold beer. Contractors have the tendency to work from project to project and often forget to have a holiday themselves. If you prepare in advance, a public holiday can be a great opportunity for ‘me time’, so get planning and ensure you enjoy!