Media Releases

SA Unions celebrate commonsense public holiday fixes

November 16, 2023

A new Public Holidays Bill (2023) will be introduced into State Parliament today that would see Christmas Day and Easter Sunday properly declared as public holidays. 

One key aspect of the Bill is ensuring that Christmas Day is treated as a public holiday, regardless of the weekday on which it falls.

Previously, if the 25th of December fell on a weekend, it was up to the government of the day to declare an ‘additional day’. In 2021 the Marshall Liberal Government controversially bowed to fringe lobby groups and refused to declare Christmas Day a Public Holiday.

Furthermore, the Bill aligns South Australia with other mainland states by designating Easter Sunday as a public holiday. Currently, despite shop trading rules mandating the closure of most stores on Easter Sunday, it is not officially recognised as a public holiday.

If this bill is passed, it will come into effect from 1 January 2024.

"From retail to emergency responders, if you're working on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday, expect penalty rates, this is a commonsense win for workers across all sectors."

"SA Unions have persistently campaigned for this kind of common-sense public holiday reform, but no union more so than the SDA. Retail and Fast Food workers were some of the hardest hit by the lack of action by the previous Marshall government." 

“South Aussies who worked on Christmas Day in 2021 will never forget the slap in the face from the Marshall Liberal government, by refusing to declare Christmas Day a public holiday.”

"This is a big win for South Australian workers and their families. The government is keeping its word and looking out for our community.