The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has expressed its dismay at the Victorian Government’s decision to introduce two new public holidays for the state.
The public holidays on Grand Final Day and Easter Sunday will increase Victoria’s public holidays to 13 per year. The ARA have said many retailers will be forced to close their doors as a result of two extra days of penalty rates.
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association said, “these two new public holidays come at a high cost to retail businesses as it means increased wages as a result of high penalty rates if they are to open.”
“Many Victorian retailers have indicated to the ARA that they will have no choice but to close their doors on these two days,” he said.
“Wages can be 50 per cent higher on Easter Sunday and 150 per cent higher on Grand Final Eve. Retailers face the difficult choice between remaining open and paying incredibly high penalty rates, or closing and losing sales or production.”
The ARA is currently working with Fair Work to review the General Retail Industry Award 2010. Their aim is to reduce costs for retailers who trade on Sundays and public holidays.
The ARA supports the recent recommendations by the Productivity Commission that penalty rates must be reduced to support retail growth and sustainability.