The Palaszczuk Government wants Christmas Eve made a public holiday

The Palaszczuk Government plans to make Christmas Eve a public holiday after 6pm to ensure all Cairns residents who are required to work that night are properly compensated.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the move would ensure workers in Cairns get a fair go and fair pay on that most important of nights and during this year’s festive season.

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

“I know many of my constituents in Cairns have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them,” he said.

“Making it a public holiday would give those who have to work like essential services staff, hospitality workers and retail employees better pay for doing so.

“A worker in the hospitality industry would be better off by around $146 dollars for the night, according to the Hospitality Industry General Award.

“While some have no choice, others should have the right to say no to Christmas eve shifts with the full protection of the law.

“While the government can’t restore the 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.”

Mr Healy said the proposed law change was no reflection on Cairns employers who already acknowledge the Christmas spirit.

“We want employers, employees and the wider community to have their say during the next 28 days of public consultation on the proposed change.

“Several industries and services may be affected by a part-day Christmas Eve public holiday, and I would encourage anyone interested in these proposed changes to have their say now.”

Subject to public consultation, the Palaszczuk Government hopes to make the necessary legislative change for the special holiday to take effect from Christmas Eve this year.

Further information is available at

Interested parties can have their say by making written submissions to:


Post: Christmas Eve Part-Day Public Holiday Consultation

Office of Industrial Relations

GPO Box 69

Brisbane QLD 4001

Written submissions must be received by 4pm Monday, 2 September 2019.

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