The Queensland government is trying to make up for the recent cut to penalty rates by implementing a new public holiday to help those who find themselves at work on Christmas Eve.
If approved, public holiday hours would start at 6pm on December 24th. “It would ensure workers have the right to have Christmas Eve off as a public holiday,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “Many Queenslanders though do have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them.”
Although the people who work regular 9 to 5 jobs would already have Christmas Eve off, it’s a move to help the employees working in other industries, such as retail and fast food, who frequently miss out on getting these important days off throughout the year.
“I know it’s a very special time for family and friends, as well as communities, to come together. The night before Christmas can be as important to families as the day itself. But we want to know what you think, that’s why we’re consulting on the proposed change,” the Premier said in a statement.
As part of the consultation process, documents outlining further details were released. These documents show that there is a multimillion-dollar cost involved in the decision. It is estimated that it would cost the public sector somewhere between $9.4 million to $21.1 million in additional wages.