Ai Group warns of festive holiday period chaos

by 10 Nov 2010

Employers are facing public holiday chaos with six states adopting five different approaches to proclaiming Christmas/ New Year public holidays, according to Ai Group chief executive Heather Ridout.

Highlighting the importance of the way that public holidays are declared and its impact on the penalty rates payable for days worked, Ai Group has asked Fair Work Australia (FWA) to clarify the situation and provide consistency across the country.

“With Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day all falling on a weekend this year, some states have proclaimed ‘substitute days’, some have proclaimed ‘additional days’ and some have proclaimed a mixture of both,” she said.

“Ai Group’s application relates to the Manufacturing Modern Award but the relevant clause in that award (clause 44.2) is common in other awards, and the Tribunal’s decision will impact on many industries which operate over the holiday period.”

Ridout said the clarified clause would provide that:

Where Christmas Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, public holiday penalty rates are payable for any work performed on 27 December and public holiday penalty rates are not payable on 25 December;

Where Boxing Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, public holiday penalty rates are payable for any work performed on 28 December and public holiday penalty rates are not payable on 26 December;

Where New Year’s Day or Australia Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday, public holiday penalty rates are payable for any work performed on the following Monday and public holiday penalty rates are not payable on the original day.

“The Christmas / New Year period is fast approaching and employers need to make decisions about operational arrangements plus give their employees notice of work requirements,” Ridout said.

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