A top boss at Network Ten has told staff they should work on the January 26th public holiday, rather than take the day off.

In an email sent by the station’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey, the day off was not referred to as Australia Day, and was encouraging senior staffers to work on the national day off.

Ms McGarvey, who is the executive vice president of Paramount Australia and New Zealand, told staff it was “not a day of celebration”.

“At Paramount ANZ we aim to create a safe place to work where cultural differences are appreciated, understood and respected,” she wrote in the email, The Australian’s Media Diary column reported.

“For our First Nations people, we as an organisation acknowledge that January 26 is not a day of celebration. We recognise that there has been a turbulent history, particularly around that date and the recognition of that date being Australia Day.”

Ms McGarvey said staff could choose to work through the national holiday if they didn’t feel comfortable celebrating it and could take another day of leave instead.

“We recognise that January 26 evokes different emotions for our employees across the business, and we are receptive to employees who do not feel comfortable taking this day as a public holiday,” the email read.

The network’s boss was adamant that those who did wish to celebrate Australia Day “reflect and respect the different perspectives and viewpoints of all Australians”.

Controversy has surrounded the celebration of Australia Day in recent years, with many calling for the date to be changed in respect of Indigenous Australians, with various councils around the country boycotting the holiday, saying it doesn’t align with their views.

Image credits: Getty Images / Network Ten

This article first appeared on Over60.