Our Weekends and Public Holidays are Under Attack

On 3 July 2018, the newly elected South Australian Liberal Government put forward legislation that would allow big supermarkets to open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This plan would also allow some shops to open on Good Friday, Anzac Day morning and Christmas Day.

This means that retail workers could be forced to work at any time of the day – even on Public Holidays.

These changes mean retail workers will miss out on spending valuable time with their family and friends on weekends and public holidays and will be stretched even further at work.

On top of this, in February 2017, the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Liberal Government cut Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates.

These policies combined means that 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/

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

The weekend and public holidays should be for everyone.




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and protect your right to time off.


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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.