Workers Could Be About To Score A New Public Holiday

Workers rostered on Christmas Eve could be about to land an early Christmas present in the form of public holiday penalty rates thanks to a proposal.

Under the plan announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Sunday, those working after 6pm would be compensated with penalty rates and have better protections when requesting leave.

The change would see hospitality workers around $146 better off when working the night before Christmas, essential service workers such as nurses are also set to benefit.

"We want workers to get a fair go and fair pay on one of the most important night’s of our festive season." Palaszczuk announced on facebook.

“While the government can’t restore the weekend penalty rate cuts inflicted upon some 160,000 Queenslanders by the then Turnbull/Morrison Government we can at least do the right thing for people working on Christmas Eve.”

The proposal follows similar arrangements in South Australia and The Northern Territory.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace pointed to a review conducted in South Australia in 2013 that found Christmas Eve held special status in the community, “There was considerable community support for the improved protections and wages for workers that come with a public holiday. “I would be surprised if the same view didn’t apply here.”

However, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland raised a red flag about the planned change, "The Queensland retail sector has been struggling under the lowest rates of growth since 1992. Introducing a public holiday is not what the sector needs."

The state government has begun a consultation process, calling for public submissions until September, the change is proposed to be legislated in time for Christmas eve this year.