Following a number of queries from members, the following is intended as a clarification regarding the issue of public holidays falling during a weekend, particularly in relation to state schools. Church and independent schools might have different arrangements in place, always allowing for these holidays to be taken at different dates within the school calendar.
The government, during the 2021 budget speech, first announced that the 4th “holiday” will be given to everyone but then rectified its position and explained that all public holidays falling during a weekend will be compensated. The MUT has sought advice from the Directorate for Employment and Industrial Relations and it was explained that if, during a particular year, there are 2 public holidays falling during a weekend 2 days (hours of leave in the case of all employees, extra school holidays in case of educators) will be given as compensation. Similarly, if 3 public holidays fall during a weekend 3 days will be given, and if 4 holidays fall during the weekend 4 days will be given.
For state schools this means the following:
- In a year with 2 days – these will be compensated as an extra two days (Thursday and Friday) at the end of the Easter holidays;
- In a year with 3 days – these will be compensated as above plus an extra holiday at the end of Carnival holidays (Ash Wednesday);
- In a year with 4 days – both cases above plus an additional day which is to be established.
In 2021 three public holidays will fall during the weekend so point 2 above applies. This also means that all days will be compensated as school holidays and not as special leave.