Two additional public holidays, Grand Final Friday and Easter Sunday, are set to be gazetted in Victoria by the Andrews Labor Government and will be officially introduced via a notice in the Government Gazette this week according to an announcement by Minister for Small Business Philip Dalidakis.

However the Government’s own Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) indicating the introduction of both public holidays would cost the state economy $898 million in lost productivity.

Industry associations such as the Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA)have decried the decision to progress the gazettal of two additional public holidays saying goes against economic common sense and will hurt business and cost jobs in the hospitality industry.

“The decision to progress the gazettal of both public holidays is ludicrous when the benefits do not outweigh the cost. The RIS identified small businesses – particularly those in the hospitality industry – will be the hardest hit as wage costs form a greater proportion of their overall operating costs on these days. Prohibitive labour costs will force businesses to close, costing the state economy jobs and lost tourism expenditure on these days,” R&CA CEO John Hart said.

“The decision hardly makes good economic sense at a time of rising unemployment, particularly youth unemployment. The Andrews Government has not listened to the concerns of small business or heeded the warnings of its own RIS,” says Mr Hart.

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