How To Hack Your Annual Leave With Public Holidays In 2020 (All States And Territories)

How To Hack Your Annual Leave With Public Holidays In 2020 (All States And Territories)
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After a long few months of slogging it out at work, a holiday break can help you to recover and reset. But while we all get at least 20 days of annual leave a year, there a few sneaky hacks to combine it with public holidays so you can squeeze out some more well-earned days off. Here’s how you do it.

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Four weeks off a year sounds good on paper but the reality is, after some forced leave over the Christmas and New Year period, and a few days off here and there, you’re often left with only a few weeks. In order to make it feel like you have a lot time off more than you do, you can strategically combine your leave with public holidays in order to extend trips or staycations. We’ve broken it out by month to help you figure out the best time to take a holiday.


March has got an extra public holiday if you’re in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT. If you’re in Victoria, Labour Day is held on Wednesday 11 March, so take four days of annual leave off and you’ll get nine including the weekends.

In Western Australia, Labour Day is on Monday 2 March so take the rest of the week off for nine days including weekends with only four days of annual leave clocked. Similarly, on Monday 9 March, Adelaide has Adelaide Cup Day, Tasmania has Eight Hours Day and ACT has Canberra Day, you’ll get nine days for the price of four.


In April, Australia observes the Easter holidays. To get yourself a 17-day holiday out of nine days of annual leave, take off Tuesday 14 April to Friday 24 April. Western Australians and those in ACT will also get the following Monday 27 April off for ANZAC Day.

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May shows up for Queenslanders and Northern Territorians, both with public holidays. In Queensland, Labour Day is celebrated on Monday 4 May while NT celebrates May Day on the same day. If this applies to you, you could take the rest of the week off for a nine-day holiday in total.


For NSW, Victoria, South Australia, ACT Tasmania and NT, the Queen’s Birthday is celebrated on Monday 8 June so you know the drill, take four days off to maximise your time. ACT also celebrates Reconciliation Day on 1 June so people living in the territory could take eight days of annual leave and get 14 days off. While Western Australians don’t celebrate the Queen’s Birthday in June, they have 1 June off to celebrate Western Australia Day.


Both Queensland and NT have public holidays in August. In Queensland, it’s the Royal Queensland Show on Wednesday 12 August and for NT, Monday 3 August is Picnic Day. So take the rest of the week off around the holidays in order to get a nine-day rest.


Western Australia celebrates the Queen’s Birthday on Monday 28 September while Victorians get a public holiday for the AFL grand final, which is for Friday 25 September. Either of these public holidays could help extend your holiday into a nine-day break if you take four days of annual leave.


NSW, ACT and South Australia finally see their Labour Day on Monday 5 October while Queensland celebrates the Queen’s Birthday all on this day. Maximise your holiday this week, it’s on the Queen.


Victorians squeeze in a public holiday for Melbourne Cup Day, which is being celebrated on Tuesday 3 November. If you take the Monday off, you’ll get a four-day weekend to get your outfit ready.


The granddaddy of holiday months is December and all states and territories will get 25 December for Christmas but as Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, you’ll get Monday 28 December off too. The following Friday, New Year’s Day, is also a public holiday so take off Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December off for a 10-day holiday for only three days of annual leave.

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