Government To Have The Final Sleigh On Christmas Eve Half-Day Public Holiday

Friday 30 August, 2019 | By: Thomas Birkbeck

Queensland’s Palaszczuk government has begun a consultation process to introduce a half-day public holiday on Christmas Eve, a policy shakeup which is estimated to cost employers up to $137 million per year.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes the proposed law-change will mean workers could decline to work after 6:00pm on the night before Christmas, or be better compensated if they were rostered on.

CCIQ’s Head of Industry and Media Dan Petrie said the proposed law change was a “thought bubble” that would lead to cafe and boutique owners being forced to work Christmas Eve themselves, rather than pay their workers more.

“The idea of introducing a public holiday on a retail sector which is struggling under the lowest rates of growth since 1992, is not what the sector needs,” Mr Petrie said.

“Especially at a time when most small business owners struggle to pay themselves $60,000 a year.”

"Businesses are already struggling with the burden of the cumulative costs of doing business in the state.  Some businesses have indicated they will close their doors over this period so staff will lose out from potential income and regional communities will look like ghost towns on the night before Christmas."

"Minister Grace has been attributed to comments to tell businesses to pass on the costs of their policy to consumers by paying more at the checkout. All at a time when spending is sluggish and the cost of living is already hurting families," Mr Petrie said.

The policy will be open for public comment in Queensland for the next month, while the government plans. to implement the changes before Christmas this year.