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Good Friday must become a permanent Public Holiday for all workers

28 March 2024

Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock has urged Government to end the discretionary treatment of Good Friday by introducing it as a permanent public holiday for all workers.

Senator Sherlock said: 

“The situation as it stands is deeply unfair for workers. There is always confusion among workers as to whether Good Friday counts as public holiday, or not.

"There are some employers who treat Good Friday as a discretionary day, however we know that the majority of workers in retail, tourism and hospitality fail to benefit from this.

“Labour is calling on Government to make Good Friday a public holiday for all workers to provide equality across the board. It’s deeply unfair that some workers benefit due to the benevolence of their employer, while others do not.

“The failure to regularise the situation points to a Government out of touch with many workers in the economy.

"Hard work deserves reward. Even if a worker is rostered to work on a public holiday, they are entitled to a benefit either by additional annual leave at another time or additional pay. So, while some businesses opt to close that day, not every worker is treated the same. We need to fix this.

"We know the benefit of public holidays to workers – with additional time to rest, relax, spend quality time with friends and family – but also the benefit to the economy as a whole.

“Extra public holidays are just one way of improving life for workers in Ireland. The introduction of the new public holiday in February was welcome, but we need to look at work across the economy as a whole and ensure its fair for all.”