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Hospitality workers would be forgiven for thinking the worst of 2020 was behind them as the year enters the festive season. But the Marshall Liberal Government has one more blow to deliver workers in the sector.

This year, South Australia is the only Australian state or territory not to recognise Saturday, December 26 as a public holiday. Under South Australian legislation, this year because Boxing Day is on a Saturday, the State Government is moving the public holiday to Monday, December 28.

This means workers won’t be entitled to public holiday penalty rates on December 26, workers will only receive Saturday rates. Meanwhile, hospitality workers in all other states and territories across Australia will receive public holiday rates of pay.

United Workers Union is calling upon the Premier to do the right thing and declare both days as public holidays.

“It’s a bitter blow to workers after an incredibly difficult year due to COVID-19, government restrictions and an economic recession. Throughout 2020 workers have lost their entitlements, hours of work, their jobs, the ability to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads,” said United Workers Union Executive Director Godfrey Moase.

“Despite thousands of workers calling on him to do the right thing, the Premier has refused to declare both days as public holidays.

“By comparison, the Marshall Liberal Government acted very quickly, when lobbied by employer associations to lift restrictions and provide economic relief to business, but once again has thrown hospitality workers on the scrapheap.

“It’s a disgrace that on the day after Christmas in a year such as 2020, Steven Marshall thinks it’s fair that they should have to rock up to work and only be paid Saturday rates, whilst the rest of the country is working for public holiday rates,” said Mr Moase.



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