There are few things Aussies relish more than a public holiday, and, if you’ve been working through the rolling lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales, you’ll more than likely be looking forward to your next one. But what happens when a public holiday falls on a weekend?
When Easter, Christmas, Australia Day, the Queen’s Birthday or Labour Day land on a Saturday or Sunday, all Aussies get the following Monday off as an ‘observed holiday’, which is what it’s called when the holiday is marked on a day other than the actual event’s anniversary date.
However, this is not the case for Anzac Day, commemorated on April 25. While Anzac Day is still officially listed as a national public holiday, when it falls on a weekend, it does not automatically attract a day off during the week for every state.
“Anzac Day is celebrated [commemorated] on 25 April each year, regardless of on which day it falls. For many years, no replacement holiday was given if Anzac Day fell on a weekend (except in Western Australia),” according to Public Holidays Global.
“However, this is beginning to change as states gradually add replacement dates to their holiday calendars.”
Last year, Anzac Day fell on a Sunday. The rules for Queensland, the Northern Territory, and South Australia stipulate that if ANZAC Day is on a Sunday, a public holiday will be granted on the following Monday. In addition, Western Australia and the ACT always get a public holiday for ANZAC day if it falls on either a Saturday or a Sunday.
That means that in 2021, only New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania missed out on a public holiday while the rest of the country chilled out (presumably).
When Is Anzac Day 2022?
Firstly, what day is Anzac Day 2022? Anzac Day will fall on a Monday in 2022, meaning that the whole of Australia will have a public holiday on Monday, April 25.
Is Anzac Day a Public Holiday 2022?
Yes, it is. It’ll be a long weekend for the whole country, something that has not happened since 2019.
Work will commence as usual on the Tuesday, however, so don’t get too carried away playing two-up.
This will also be the case in 2023 when Anzac Day falls on a Tuesday, and in 2024 when it falls on a Thursday. However, the distribution of dates across the years means that these sacred days off are not always guaranteed — unless you happen to live in WA.
Why Does Western Australia Always Get a Public Holiday for Anzac Day?
Western Australia is the only state that gives a public holiday for Anzac Day if it falls on a weekend, as per their Public And Bank Holidays Act 1972.
“When New Year’s Day, Anzac Day, or Christmas Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday the next following Monday is also a public holiday and bank holiday,” the section states.
However, the ACT announced in 2020 that they would also grant a public holiday for Anzac Day on Monday, 27, April, 2021, despite all commemorations still taking place on Saturday, 25 April.
“Anzac Day is a historically and culturally significant time for many Canberrans and should be marked as a holiday for everyone,” Employment and Workplace Safety minister Suzanne Orr told the Canberra Times.
“The ACT Government recognises this and is declaring this public holiday to allow Canberrans to reflect while spending quality time with friends and family.”
There is no word yet as to whether this will be a continuing trend, however as the next few years will see ANZAC Day fall on a weekday, that debate won’t need to be had for some time.
Why Don’t All States Always Get a Public Holiday for Anzac Day?
The main reason Anzac Day doesn’t attract a public holiday if it falls on the weekend is due to the history and nature of the day. ANZAC Day is a day to commemorate those who lost their lives in service, and as such, this can take place on any day, including a weekend.
“Anzac Day is when Australia comes together to recognise all those who have served our nation and pay tribute to the sacrifice of more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in the service of our country,” Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, said.
The Australian Government is dedicated to honouring the service and sacrifice of our military personnel, veterans and their families and recognise the contribution our military families have made to our nation.