The South Australian government says it is open to formally designating Easter Sunday a public holiday, to ensure workers are paid penalty rates, after coming under union pressure to introduce reform.
The retail workers' union today issued the call, saying more than 100,000 employees are not currently entitled to public holiday pay because Easter Sunday is considered a regular working day.
"It's not just workers in our retail sector, it's workers right across our essential services who are going to work today and not earning anything more than a usual Sunday," Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) secretary Josh Peak said.
Easter weather forecast tips cold front to sweep across Australia, but hopefully not enough in it to dampen spirits
Here's a wrap of what to expect around the country and at popular Easter holiday destinations this long weekend.The cold front will move west to east from Friday through to around Tuesday, but its impacts are likely to be relatively mild compared to the wild weather we've had over recent months.
"The state government should fix this and make sure that Easter Sunday is declared a public holiday from 2023."
Several other states — including Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria — have all made similar moves in recent years.
Retail worker and union compliance officer Bente Rasmussen today spoke alongside Mr Peak in favour of the union's proposal.
"For those who are working today, they deserve to be properly compensated," she said.
The SDA is also pushing for broader changes to the Holidays Act to ensure Christmas Day staff receive penalty rates, regardless of the day of the week — a proposal already agreed to by the government, prior to the March election.
"In Opposition, Labor committed to amending the Public Holidays Act to fix the anomaly whereby Christmas Day was not a public holiday if it fell on a Saturday," Premier Peter Malinauskas said in a statement.
Store closures you should be worried about
The Easter weekend is fast approaching and for many this presents the chance to unwind and spend time with friends and family. This long weekend is also a time where business owners and their workers take their time off, meaning closed store doors during the four-day period.If you're in need of some last-minute shopping, we have you covered with key opening hours across the country.READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Easter holidaysWhat is open on Good Friday?Good Friday is a national public holiday and recognised as a "restricted trading day".
Mr Malinauskas — a former state secretary of the SDA — said the government would now consider the matter of Easter Sunday pay rates.
"As part of this, the government will be open to submissions regarding the case for and against declaring Easter Sunday a public holiday," he said.