Though it’s an odd time to be thinking about it, it just so happens to be ANZAC Day this weekend, and that just so happens to fall on a Saturday this year for the first time since 2015. And while that’s obviously a time for solemn reflection on various fronts – at home, this year, with all major and minor ANZAC-related gatherings cancelled – the question begs: What’s going on with the public holiday?
While it’s true that most other holidays that happen to fall on a weekend trigger a bonus long weekend in lieu, ANZAC Day operates a little differently. So while the entire country will be getting the Monday off following Boxing Day, which is also on a Saturday this year, ANZAC Day this year will see most of the country operate as normal.
Only Western Australia and the ACT are giving residents the bonus make-up public holiday on Monday, April 27th. New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory are all planning for a (mostly) normal work day at the start of next week.
The reason for this is fairly unclear, but it’s all enshrined in the various state legislation.
In Victoria, Tasmania, and NSW, the legislation states that no extra public holiday will be observed in the event that ANZAC Day falls on a weekend. That’s been the case since virtually time immemorial, and has been consistently applied in previous years with an ANZAC Saturday, including 2015, 2009, 1998, and 1992.
In Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, the legislation is similar, but stipulates that a Monday public holiday will be observed for ANZAC Day if April 25th occurs on a Sunday only. That law will apply in 2021, when ANZAC Day does indeed fall on a Sunday.
But for this year, it’s just Western Australia and the ACT who can put their feet up come Monday. For the rest of us? It’s back to work.