The announcement on Sunday of a public holiday for a National Day of Mourning for the Queen, that will occur on 22 September 2022, has caused concern in many corners.  The proximity to some school holiday, other public holidays and the surprise nature of the date, so close to the day of announcement, has thrown many businesses into a spin.  Now is the time to understand the trading restrictions and the employment implications of the Queens Mourning Public Holiday, and to talk to staff.

Trading Restricted?

During a public holiday wholesale and office businesses are able to trade at their own discretion, but retail businesses are often subject to trading restrictions.

Fuel retail businesses are exempt from trading restrictions (as are take aways, cafes and restaurants), and are thus able to trade as usual on all public holidays, including restricted trading public holidays.

For reference the Queens Mourning Public Holiday, 22 September 2022 has the following trading restrictions for other retail businesses;

  • NSW   |  No trading hours restriction
  • VIC     |   No trading hours restriction
  • SA       |   No trading hours restriction
  • TAS     |   No trading hours restriction
  • NT       |   TBA soon, any restriction decision would not apply to fuel retail businesses who are exempt from trading hours restrictions
  • QLD     |   TBA soon, any restriction decision would not apply to fuel retail businesses who are exempt from trading hours restrictions
  • WA      |    TBA soon, any restriction decision would not apply to fuel retail businesses who are exempt from trading hours restrictions
  • ACT     |    TBA soon, any restriction decision would not apply to fuel retail businesses who are exempt from trading hours restrictions

4 or 5 day weekend?

In Victoria the Friday 23/9/2022 is a public holiday for the Grand Final, while in Western Australia the Monday 26/9/2022 is the Queens Birthday Holiday for this year.

The addition of the Mourning Holiday does not take away from the requirement to ensure staff are paid appropriate public holiday rates on ALL public holidays.

For those in WA the Thursday and Monday being a public holiday is anticipated to result in a higher than usual level of absenteeism on Friday 23/9/2022 – which businesses should be preparing for now.

“It is not a bad idea to remind staff of any existing leave requirements and policies.  For example most businesses have a leave policy that requires a doctors certificate or stat dec if the unplanned leave is adjacent to a weekend or public holiday or planned leave.  Such a policy would certainly trigger if someone was taking the Friday off unannounced in WA next week” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

What about the Queens Birthday Holidays?

There is likely to be changes across the board, for now Victoria have announced that the previous Queens Birthday public holiday (celebrated on the second Monday in June) will now be referred to as the Kings Birthday.

Public Holiday Basics

The fundamentals are that when a worker does work on a public holiday they receive an additional benefit for giving up the day off, whether that is public holiday penalty rates, additional time off in lieu of public holiday rates or an alternative day off.

For more on Public Holiday Basics, including directing staff to work see; https://acapmag.com.au/2022/03/easter-public-holidays/

For more on Swapping Public Holidays see; https://acapmag.com.au/2022/04/hr-highlight-swapping-easter-for-ramadan/

Here to Help

Through the year ACAPMA Employment Professionals are available to assist members via employment@acapma.com.au.

This article is general in nature and covers things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by emailing employment@acapma.com.au to reach out to one of ACAPMA Employment Professionals its free for members.

ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $810 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.

Visit: https://acapma.com.au/membership/   to learn more or to apply for ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

 

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