Christmas Eve to be declared a part-public holiday in Qld

The State Government wants to make Christmas Eve night a public holiday to ensure people who work are paid handsomely for it.

Under plans being put out for consultation, the public holiday would kick in at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it would make sure workers get more time off or get paid fairly on what is one of the most important nights of the festive season.


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“The night before Christmas is as important to families as the day itself. It’s a very special time for family and friends as well as communities and churches to come together,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Many Queenslanders though, do have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them.

“Making it a public holiday would give those who have to work like essential services staff, hospitality workers and shop employee’s better pay for doing so.”

Those working in hospitality could end up with around $146 more in their pay if they have to work on Christmas Eve.

The Premier says it’s one way to help those affected by the cut to penalty rates introduced by the Federal Government.

South Australia and the Northern Territory already have similar measures in place.

Workers, employers and the general public are now being urged to have their say on the idea.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace says it’s widely accepted that anyone working on a public holiday should be fairly compensated.

“For so many people the Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and a part-day public holiday from 6pm and covering the six hours to 12 midnight on this date would recognise the historic importance of this special time,” Ms Grace said.

“Several industries and services may be affected by a part-day Christmas Eve public holiday, and we encourage everyone to have their say on this proposed change.”

More details on the holiday plan and ways to have your say are available here

 

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I understand the reasoning behind the suggestion for Christmas Eve public holiday however in the interest of safety surely January 2 would be a better choice for public holiday. January 1 is the last day of the Christmas break where many people are driving to return to there homes. Many have celebrated and stayed up later to see in the New Year. Other countries have adopted this day as a public holiday and would most definitely make sense to do so in Australia.