john mccutcheon

Another public holiday! But do we really want that?

QUEENSLANDERS could end up with four public holidays in a row next year, but not everyone is celebrating.

An apparent plan by Queensland trade minister Grace Grace to introduce a new public holiday for Easter Sunday has been revealed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

Ms Grace's office has been contacted for comment.

CCIQ's Nick Behrens said the extra public holiday will deliver another blow to retail and hospitality businesses, as they are forced to pay more in penalty rates.

"CCIQ strongly protests the Palaszczuk Government's plan, as it is anti-business and is certainly anti-jobs," he said.

"The additional cost in wages to Queensland businesses alone will be at least $53 million, not to mention forgone productivity.

"Hospitality businesses will see their hourly wage rate on this day increase by 43 per cent and for retailers by 25 per cent."


How much would it cost?

  • The CCIQ estimates that the public holiday would cost businesses at least $53m
  • Hospitality businesses would pay 43% more in wages. Retailers would pay 25% more.

How much would businesses have to pay staff?

  • Hospitality workers (full time) would be paid $44.25 p/hr
  • Hospitality workers (casual) would be paid $48.68 p/hr
  • Level 1 retail assistants: $48.60 p/hr
  • Casual retail staff: $53.46 p/hr
    Source: CCIQ

If the new public holiday is put in place, it would create four consecutive public holidays from Good Friday to Easter Monday.

He said it meant businesses may consider closing for the entire period.

"It would be particularly disastrous for small businesses, many of whom are struggling in the over-regulated, inflexible workplace relations environment that already includes significant weekend penalties for employees."

Mr Behrens said the minister had issued a directive on the matter, "due to pressure from the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees' Association".  

"Only NSW and VIC currently have Easter Sunday as a public holiday, so the State Government cannot make an argument for national consistency."