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Holidays With FreePBX

FreePBX, being front end to Asterisk, allows setting multiple time periods under a single Time Group, usually for public Holidays and such, we call this Holidays - I know, so original hey :-D

This article concentrates on Queensland, in particular Brisbane, Public Holidays, since only a few holidays vary between states, it will be easy for you to change to suite yours if you need to, likewise international readers, where many don't observe Show Days, ANZAC Day, or Easter.

Most Holidays don't change their dates, but some like the Royal Exhibition Show Day and Easter do, and, what if a Holiday falls on a weekend, here is Australia, you usually get the following Monday off to make up for it, but rarely does anyone configure their phone systems for such occurrences in automation, so a caller often gets put into a queue that keeps them on hold waiting for nobody unless in the rare occasion someone remembered to manually switch to night mode.

With FreePBX Time Groups, it's easy to cater for those scenarios, except for Easter where apparently nobody knows what date Jesus actually died on I guess as it changes every year often by weeks, could be any Friday-Monday in or around late March and April. The result of this is, even after the changes I'm going to give you, will still every year have to modify Easter period, my recommendation is to change those dates to the following year right after you return from the current years Easter break, that way you wont forget.

If you wish to verify any Holiday dates I provide here, for Qld, you can verify at this Qld Govt website.

Let's get on with it

Firstly, you need to login to FreePBX as administrator, Bulk Handler does not process Time Conditions or Time Groups (I have an improvement request in for it, but wont hold my breath waiting), and as this info is stored in astdb we can't cheat and write an asterisk conf file, well we could but the risk is high of it being overwrote or plain out ignored, so we have to enter one by one through the GUI.

Select Applications and Time Groups, then +Add Time Group, give it a meaningful name like Holidays, and in the description field give it some detail, I use holidays - Only need to modify Easter (https://bit.ly/3naW67f), the URL is Qld Govt website that lists the legislated public Holidays for the state of Qld.

Now, the first entry is going to be Easter, after which we use by-date-order, the reason for this is Easter is the only entry we should ever have to change from now on, so keeping it at the top makes sense, and when you do change it, don't delete it and add next years, just edit the existing entry to next years date - this keeps it at the top of the list, we are also not going to touch any of the time start/finishes, except for Christmas Eve, since most offices let their staff off around lunchtime, but obviously if you are retail, you wont be using that entry :-)

To simplify things, just follow the below information in the images, I've taken them direct from my own working FreePBX system. I'm writing this in 2021, just after Easter, so I have already set in the correct dates for 2022.

I take into account Public Holidays falling on a weekend, if you look at the third period as an example, you see it lists January 27 and 28, but only if those dates fall on a Monday, resulting from the Australia Day Public Holiday falling on the previous Saturday or Sunday, so that Monday now also becomes a Public Holiday. In fact New Years Day next year (2022) will be on a Saturday, so you will see this work by making Monday January the 3rd a Public Holiday as well. I've also accounted for holidays that are on the first Monday of a month too.

After you have entered in a period, just click +Add Time and continue, once you've entered in all applicable time periods, click Submit then Apply Config, at that point, you're all done :-D









Again, make sure you Submit and Apply Config.


Oh.... In Case you want a list of all the future universal Easter Sundays, for the next 20 plus years or so...

17th April 2022
9th April 2023
31st March 2024
20th April 2025
5th April 2026
28th March 2027
16th April 2028
1st April 2029
21st April 2030
13th April 2031
28th March 2032
17th April 2033
9th April 2034
25th March 2035
13th April 2036
5th April 2037
25th April 2038
10th April 2039
1st April 2040
21st April 2041
6th April 2042
29th March 2043
17th April 2044
9th April 2045

Enjoy!

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