The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry wishes a happy, healthy and safe Easter to all Australians, including business operators hard at work, employees meeting the needs of customers and people taking a break with friends and family.
James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber, said: “For some people Easter is a time for thoughtful reflection while for others it is a chance to relax. Throughout this period we want to thank those people who remain on the job so that other people can enjoy their leisure.
“We thank business operators, particularly in retail and hospitality, who are keeping their doors open, and we thank their staff, who deliver services during a busy time.
“For many businesses in regional communities Easter is a particularly busy time of the year.
As many people from cities head away for the long weekend, demand for services in regional towns surges.
“The changes to penalty rates awarded by the Fair Work Commission are not yet in force, so this Easter the existing penalty rates structure will apply. But once the changes are in place, employees in the hospitality, retail, restaurant, fast food and pharmacy sectors will continue to be paid a significant premium in excess of their regular pay for working on public holidays. There will be no reductions in the penalty rates paid to employees in other industries.
“It is no surprise that this Easter, under the current penalty rates, many businesses won’t be able to afford to open, others will have to operate with reduced hours and staff, and some will be staffed only by the owners and their families. Changes to penalty rates will make it easier in future years for these businesses to open their doors, provide new jobs or extra hours of work, and meet their customers’ needs.”
Employers with questions on rates of pay this Easter should contact their state or territory Chamber of Commerce or their Industry Association.
Public holiday penalty rates
Changes to penalty rates announced by the Fair Work Commission will have the following impacts:
Were the Commission’s decision applied in full to today’s base wages, the changes would mean:
The number of designated public holidays over Easter varies between two and four, depending on state or territory:
If a pharmacy were open for eight hours each day over four Easter public holidays, with two casual pharmacy assistants and a full-time pharmacy manager, the wage bill would be at least $5,963.
An independent supermarket with a casual store manager, three casual shop assistants and two permanent shop assistants would have a wage bill of at least $10,336.
The incoming public holiday pay rates are scheduled to commence on July 1, 2017.