Domestic Travel

Shannen Findlay

Exciting news for Aussies: New public holiday announced

Exciting news for Aussies: New public holiday announced

Christmas Eve is set to become a public holiday – however, only some Aussies will be eligible to take the day off or take a hefty pay increase. 

In Queensland, the change is believed to be coming soon and will mean workers will either get paid more to work the night before Christmas or they get it off to spend time with loved ones. 

The holiday would begin after 6 pm on December 24. 

The bold move could mean a retail worker could pocket an extra $124 for working the public holiday or fast food workers could take home an extra $157. 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the night before Christmas is just as important to families as the day itself. 

“It would ensure workers have the right to have Christmas Eve off as a public holiday just as they do for Christmas Day,” she explained. 

“While the government can't restore weekend penalty rate cuts inflicted upon some 160,000 Queenslanders by the then Turnbull/Morrison Government, we can at least do the right thing for people working on Christmas Eve.”

The new public holiday in Queensland follows closely behind South Australia and the Northern Territory where from 7 pm Christmas Eve becomes a public holiday. 

The Queensland government plans to legislate the proposal in time for Christmas Eve this year. 

“A 2013 review of the arrangements in South Australia found there was strong opinion that Christmas Eve held a special status in the community in-line with it being recognised as a public holiday.

“And that there was considerable community support for the improved protections and wages for workers that come with a public holiday.”