Holiday Pay

I note the Government is talking of a change to the law so people do not get paid penal rates when they are sick.

It still doesn’t address the underlying problems the holidays act can cause small businesses. I suspect many people do not relaise that when the media talks about people getting time and a half on a public holiday, they in fact get double time and a half. You get time and a half for the day you work and time again for a day you don’t have to work.

To make it simple take the business I own – a small market research and polling company. My phone staff are paid well above market rates – around $15 an hour. They are mainly students and find the ability to earn extra income great. Some of them work five nights a week, others just one or two.

Now if one did a poll on the evening of Queens Birthday I would have to pay them almost $40 an hour. That’s right $40 an hour to make phone calls. So what happens is we simply don’t operate that evening as the costs of doing so would way exceed what one could charge to clients. The staff get pissed off because they lose money by not working, when they want to.

So the Holidays Act actually cuts income for many workers. We see this also with all the cafes which do not open. Would you open a cafe when you have to pay your staff 250% of what you normally pay?

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