During its state election campaign, the Victorian Government made a commitment to declare the Friday before the AFL Grand Final and Easter Sunday as public holidays.
To this end, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared to consider the total impact of the Government’s policy. The RIS determined that the economic cost for the new public holidays is estimated to be between $717 and $898 million annually and would result in increased wage payments up to $286 million annual for people who work on the public holidays.
Last week, after considering submissions received in response to the RIS, the Victorian Government decided to introduce the Friday before the AFL Grand Final as a public holiday.
The public holidays affecting the whole of the State of Victoria will fall on 2 October 2015 for Grand Final Friday. Easter Sunday 2016 has also been declared a public holiday.
There will be no trading restrictions imposed on this holiday, so businesses will be able to determine their own opening hours.
Impact on businesses
As with all public holidays, employers are entitled to request employees to work on a public holiday. Employees however, can refuse to work on a public holiday if the refusal is reasonable. While there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account to determine if a request or refusal to work a public holiday is reasonable, this will generally be based upon the employee’s personal circumstances and/or the amount of notice provided to the employee.
If an employee works on a public holiday, that employee will be entitled to public holiday penalty rates in accordance with the Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement which underpins the employment relationship.
If you require assistance regarding your obligations for Grand Final Friday, please contact HR Legal.
This article was produced by HR Legal. It is intended to provide general information only in summary format on legal issues. It does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as such.