Retailers caught up in public holiday stunt

Over a third of businesses closed on Queensland’s partial Christmas Eve public holiday to avoid paying penalty rates.

This in turn, supported the Australian Retail Association’s (ARA) opinion in that the holiday was a stunt that would deliver little for employees.

“The Suncorp Pulse Survey found 35% of businesses closed to avoid unaffordable wage costs, and another 18% worked themselves and/or cut shifts for staff, which is exactly what we forecast,” says the Executive Director of the ARA, Russell Zimmerman.

“This election stunt – orchestrated by unions and the government – cost retail staff a lot of money at Christmas.”

Mr Zimmerman noted that an unknown number of businesses that were open, would’ve had no choice, such as 24-hour operators.

Call it off

Mr Zimmerman called on both Labor and the opposition LNP to make a commitment ahead of the October state election, that the Christmas Eve public holiday debacle of 2019 would be a one-off, and that it would be axed.

He concludes that, “We’ll work with any government to benefit retailers and their staff; in this case, we’d like Queensland to put this error behind it so retailers don’t approach next Christmas with one arm tied behind their backs.”

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