Our Weekends and Public Holidays are Under Attack

The newly elected South Australian Liberal Government wants to deregulate shop trading hours. This means that retail workers could be forced to work 21 hours a day, 7 days of the week – including most public holidays.

In February 2017, the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Liberal Government cut Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates. Penalty rates make a world of difference to retail workers – they provide compensation for working unsociable hours and for sacrificing precious family time. These cuts will impact everyone, from the individuals and their families – who rely on them for everyday living expenses – through to the Australian economy as a whole.

This means retail workers will have to sacrifice even more precious time with family and friends but will no longer be fairly rewarded with penalty rates.

This is an attack that retail workers and their families can’t afford and don’t deserve.

The weekend and public holidays should be for everyone.


Protect Penalty Rates

The Fair Work Commission is cutting Sunday and Public Holiday Penalty Rates. The Prime Minister has the power to stop it, but is refusing. Some workers will lose up to $6,000 a year due to these savage cuts. Retail workers deserve a pay rise not a wage cut.

Find out more at protectpenaltyrates.org.au

Stop Longer Trading Hours

South Australia’s Shop Trading Hours laws get the balance right. Big retail outlets need to close at 5pm on weekends and most stores close on Public Holidays, allowing workers to spend time with their families. The State Liberal Government want to allow big supermarkets to open 7 days a week from midnight to 9pm, including most public holidays.

Find out more about how deregulation will hurt South Australia here.




Support our campaign to protect penalty rates
and stop longer trading hours.


  • Make your voice heard. Join our supporters and sign the petition to save our weekend!



Frequently Asked Questions:

Longer trading hours won’t mean there’s more money in people’s pockets.
Big business argues that extending trading hours will increase employment in the industry.

However, a report by the Productivity Commission found that when trading hours were deregulated in Victoria and NSW, there was no significant evidence of increased economic benefits or positive impact.

Deregulating trading hours will also mean that local, independently owned businesses will start losing customers to larger retail chains. This will have an adverse impact on employment in the retail sector.

In 2006, the South Australian Government review into changing retail trading hours concluded:

“ABS data on retail turnover provides no evidence of a benefit, in that there has been no apparent increase in rate of growth of retail employment in South Australia [since further liberalisation of trading hours]”.

The experience of most retail workers has been that previous extensions of retail trading hours has not increased the total number of hours of work available.

Retail workers report that these hours are simply redistributed because the sales made during the new extended trading hours cannibalise sales at other times of the week.

The retailers respond by simply changing rosters and cutting hours at other times.

The opportunity to work has shifted away from ‘normal’ working hours toward unsociable working hours. Extended trading hours force workers who have family commitments to work more and more hours away from their friends and family.

Big retail businesses want to extend trading hours because it will lead to greater market share.

South Australia has the largest proportion of independent retail. This means that the major players have less market power and there is more access to the market for many small producers.

The Liberal Government in supporting the push are supporting big business at the expense of smaller retailers, producers and workers.

There is little genuine demand from consumers for further extended trading hours. This push is not being led by consumers, but by Steven Marshall and Liberal Party who are doing the bidding of the big end of town.

A recent survey by the McKell Institute found that over 80% of South Australians are satisfied with South Australia’s current trading hours arrangement.