Dr Anthony Lynham


Proposed Christmas Eve Part Public Holiday

Proposed Christmas Eve Part Public Holiday

8 August, 2019 –

Many of us are in jobs where we don’t have to work on Christmas Eve and we get to spend the night before Christmas with family and friends, or attending religious and community events.

But there are some in the community who don’t get that luxury and have to work.

The Palaszczuk Government plans to make Christmas Eve a part-day public holiday after 6pm to ensure all Queenslanders who have to go to work that night are properly compensated.

We want employers, employees ,and the wider community to have their say on this proposed change.

What happens if it is a public holiday?

  • Workers have the right to refuse to work on public holidays if the request to work is unreasonable or the refusal to work is reasonable
  • Those who do work are entitled to public holiday penalty rates as per their award or agreement (typically double time or double time and a half).

Who would be affected?

  • Industries that choose to or are required to open on Christmas Eve, including aged care facilities, continuous manufacturing processes, small retail shops, petrol stations, restaurants, pubs and clubs, health and emergency services, public transport.

What will it cost the economy?

  • Preliminary estimates range from $41.3 million to an upper end estimate of $136.9 million.
  • The experience in South Australia was that the costs turned out to be significantly lower than originally expected.

Is there anywhere else that has a Christmas Eve part day public holiday?

  • South Australia (since 2012) and the Northern Territory (since 2016)
  • A 2013 review of the arrangements in South Australia found strong community support for Christmas Eve being a public holiday and for improved protections and entitlements for workers.

What are the next steps – when would this all happen?

  • A Regulatory Impact Statement is available for public consultation until 2 September 2019.
  • We want to hear what the community thinks about the proposal – what are the benefits, what are the costs?
  • If the Government proceeds with the proposal, it is intended that the part-day public holiday be legislated in time for Christmas Eve 2019.

How can I have my say?

Written submissions must be received by 4pm Monday, 2 September 2019.