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Holidays Act dampens festive season

Wayne Mapp MP

National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

4 January 2006

Holidays Act dampens festive season

National Party Industrial Relations spokesman Wayne Mapp says Labour's holidays legislation saw many bars, cafes and restaurants closed this Christmas, putting a dampener on the festive season for many.

Under the Holidays Act, staff who work on a public holiday are paid time-and-a-half for hours worked, as well as receiving a day off in lieu.

"The Grinch-like Holiday's Act saw about one in three eateries closed over the period between last Christmas and New Year as businesses sought to avoid additional costs imposed by the Holidays Act," says Dr Mapp.

Other cafes and restaurants have introduced a public holiday surcharge of up to 20% to account for the additional costs of opening on these days.

Dr Mapp says Labour has had more than two years to fix this legislation but has done nothing.

"When the Holiday's Act was originally introduced, Labour said it was to give proper recompense to people who had to work on public holidays. Instead, it's seen cafes and restaurants forced to close their doors.

"The Government needs to look at the difference between those special days where shops must be closed, such as Christmas Day, and other statutory holidays were shops are open, but employers must pay the full costs of both of time-and-a-half and a day in lieu.

"It's time the Government took a serious approach and changed this legislation," says Dr Mapp.

ENDS

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