Monday, 20 August 2012
Statements by Members
Petition: Public Holidays
I present to the House a petition on public holidays which has been approved by the Standing Committee on Petitions.
The petition read as follows—
To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives
This petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House that:
We therefore ask the House to:
Amend the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act to include:
2. Easter Sunday as a public holiday.
from 39 citizens
The petition is signed by 39 petitioners. The principal petitioner is Michael Donovan from the Victorian branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association. It asks the House to amend the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act to include an additional public holiday, not a substitute day, on the following Monday or Tuesday whenever Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day falls on a weekend and to include Easter Sunday as a public holiday.
The petitioners have drawn the attention of the House to the fact that weekend workers and shiftworkers are disadvantaged whenever Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day falls on a weekend and the public holiday substitute is moved to the following Monday or Tuesday. When that substitution occurs, workers rostered to work on the actual day falling on the weekend do not receive a public holiday whilst workers rostered to work on the substitute day do. This is unfair to weekend workers and shiftworkers. Some states have legislated for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day to be public holidays when they fall on a weekend as well as for an additional public holiday on the following Monday or Tuesday. Similarly there are difficulties relating to Easter Sunday, and the petitioner asks parliament to legislate a uniform standard across Australia.