There will be an extra day off for Queensland workers in 2012 following the passage of laws through State Parliament recently.
In a proposal to spread public holidays more evenly throughout the year the Queensland Government asked for community consultation on their paper titled ‘Getting the balance right: A proposal on holidays in Queensland’.
Feedback was sought on three proposals:
- Moving the Queen’s birthday to create a new summer public holiday;
- Allocating an extra public holiday when Christmas, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day fall on a weekend; or
- Expanding state school Easter holidays from six days to two weeks.
85 per cent of Queenslanders surveyed voted in favour of moving the Queen’s Birthday public holiday to the second half of the year.
As such, from 2012 the Queen’s Birthday will now be celebrated in October with a special one-off ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubilee holiday’ granted on the June long weekend to allow community and sporting events previously planned for that weekend to continue without disruption.
Extra public holidays will now be allocated for workers when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day fall on a weekend. Currently a substitute public holiday is allocated for the next available working day but because these days are not designated public holidays workers are not paid the applicable penalty rates. The new amendments will address this inequity and ensure those working on these significant days are paid public holiday penalty rates.
State school Easter holidays will now also be extended to two weeks with a restructure of the pupil free days.
The bill introduced into Parliament will now make the required amendments to the Holidays Act 1983 for the creation of these new holiday arrangements in 2012.