Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II Getty Images

Extra holiday will cost $342m

THE Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has expressed strong opposition to the state government's proposal for an additional public holiday in 2012.

CCIQ estimates one additional public holiday creates upwards of $342 million in wage costs and in turn decreases the economic productivity.

The state government has announced its reforms of Queensland Public Holidays with the Queen's Birthday holiday in October in 2012, and an additional holiday to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June that will also allow events already planned for the June 2012 long weekend to continue without disruption.

"An overwhelming majority (96 per cent) of more than 1100 businesses surveyed by CCIQ are supportive of the state government moving, not adding, a public holiday to the second half of the year," president David Goodwin said.

"The state government has created a one-off $342 million liability for Queensland employers in wages paid for no productive return.

"This amount ignores the value add to the economy that would normally occur on a working day."

Mr Goodwin said the state government should look at the liability caused by the one-off holiday and consider alternatives to provide certainty to community and sporting events.

"Instead of an additional public holiday in 2012, a transition period should be introduced to provide a pathway for the Queen's Birthday to be celebrated in October from 2013.

"This would provide sufficient lead-way for planned events to be reviewed and changed if necessary."

Mr Goodwin said the CCIQ was also strongly opposed to declaring a public holiday for both the actual and substitute dates when a public holiday fell on a weekend.

"Duplicating holidays creates a significant additional liability for employers, effectively creating an additional public holiday for businesses that operate seven days a week and/or over the weekends," he said.

"This will impact on the viability of these businesses and ultimately create a business operating environment that is unattractive.

"CCIQ is urging amending legislation to remove these anti-business provisions or otherwise be scrutinised under the Parliamentary Committee process where business can have their say." 

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