What are the changes to public holidays legislation?
On 2 April 2012, the Statutes Amendment (Shop Trading and Holidays) Act 2012 was proclaimed.
The result is amendments to the Holidays Act 1910 which prescribe Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as part-day public holidays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, meaning that these times will attract any applicable public holiday entitlements. The first part-day public holiday will fall on 24 December 2012.
Does the Act create new public holidays?
Yes. The Act creates two part-day public holidays in addition to the existing public holidays. These part-day public holidays will be observed from 7.00pm until 12 midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, beginning on 24 December 2012.
Do other states have part-day public holidays?
Part-day public holidays are recognised in the public holidays National Employment Standard contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Section 115). This standard is relevant to all private sector workers and provides that an employee can reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday (either part-day or full day). New South Wales regularly declares half-day public holidays in regional areas, with 13 half-day public holidays prescribed in 2012.
What will the employee entitlements be on part-day public holidays?
Employee entitlements on part-day public holidays will be provided for in the employee's relevant award or enterprise agreement.
How will part-day public holidays affect trading hours in the suburbs?
Non-exempt shops will be able to trade as usual, irrespective of whether it is a part-day public holiday or not:
- Until 9.00pm on weekdays;
- Until 5.00pm on Saturdays (including Easter Saturday); and
- From 11.00am until 5.00pm on Sundays.
Exempt shops (the vast majority of South Australia's retail sector) continue to be able to trade during the hours that suit the needs of their business, including on all public holidays.
Does the Statutes Amendment (Shop Trading and Holidays) Act 2012 provide additional penalty rates for workers?
The Statutes Amendment (Shop Trading and Holidays) Act 2012 does not provide for penalty rates. However, any employee working on a public holiday, whether part-day or full day is entitled to applicable public holiday penalty rates under the relevant award or enterprise agreement.