Media Release: Christmas Eve Legislated as a Public Holiday

November 27, 2019 Media Releases Member News News

MEDIA RELEASE | 27 November 2019


The Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government have officially legislated to make Christmas Eve a part day public holiday from 6pm to midnight throughout the state of Queensland. This is fantastic news for SDA members and all working families throughout the State.

Thousands of SDA members and the public supported the SDA’s campaign for Christmas Eve to be legislated a part day public holiday since State Secretary Chris Gazenbeek committed to campaign and lobby for the holiday in 2017 and we thank them for their support.

This part day public holiday will help Retail, Fast Food and Warehousing staff – as well as Queenslanders in many other industries have a well deserved break over Christmas. Whether it is to rest, attend church services, spend time with family or friends or travel to see family on Christmas day, this time will be invaluable to members who may have otherwise had to work until 9pm or even to midnight on Christmas Eve. It will also give workers the opportunity to earn penalty rates if they choose to work during this period.

Many people who work nights such as retail workers, fast food workers, warehouse workers, hospitality workers and emergency services workers have previously missed out on time with their family on Christmas Eve will now have the same opportunities afforded to people who work 9-5 jobs.

Our members in retail, warehousing and fast food and many employees work extremely hard at very unsociable times to provide a seven-day-a-week service to the public. This is great policy from the State Government to provide these workers the right to a part-day public holiday on Christmas Eve or to public holiday penalty rates if they work.”

“This will not only benefit members of the SDA, it will be great news for many hard-working Queenslanders including our well respected essential services workers – such as fire fighters, paramedics, nurses and police officers Chris Gazenbeek said”

“We applaud the Palaszczuk government’s decision to support working families and providing an opportunity for an improved work life balance at a very busy and important time of the year.

The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (the SDA) is one of the largest unions in Queensland with more than 32,000 members employed across the retail, warehousing and fast food industry. Chris Gazenbeek is the Queensland State Secretary.

Further information: Rose Bailey, 0418 781 524

Some stories from our members include:

  • “I work in night-fill and it’s hard to get things ready for Christmas as I’m not home until after midnight, then I am up early because of the kids – Pauline from Bellara
  • “We spend so much time away from family at this time of year with stores open later and open everyday except Christmas Eve. It would be nice to have the choice not to work Christmas Eve – Pam from Tewantin
  • “As a Christian Family, Christmas means a lot to us, and it’s important I can spend this time with my family – Portia from Stafford
  • “I have not enjoyed Christmas Eve for the last 10 years due to the increase in long hours. I don’t get off work until 8pm. I’ve had enough of missing out and I would like to enjoy Christmas with my family” – Simone from Wellington Point