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Holiday legislation will close restaurants

4 September 2003

Media Release
Available for immediate use

Proposed holiday legislation will close restaurants – HANZ

Widespread closure of many hotels and restaurants during holiday periods is being predicted if proposed legislation gets the go-ahead.

In a submission to a Select Committee hearing today, Hospitality Association chief executive, Bruce Robertson, said some operators simply wouldn’t be able to afford to open their doors on statutory holidays.

“The end results will be fewer restaurants opening; less choices for patrons and substantial surcharges being added on to customers accounts by those who do choose to open,” says Mr Robertson.

The proposed legislation would provide staff with time and a half rates plus a day off in lieu for those working on public holidays.

Mr Robertson says the problem is exacerbated when the public holiday also falls on a weekend. He also says the proposed bereavement leave clause and the mandatory accumulation of sick leave is drawing strong comment from his members.

“Add to that the suggestion that an employer cannot ask for a medical certificate from an employee until he or she has been absent for five days, and there’s a picture of the legislation being too much in a one-way direction,” he said.

Mr Robertson says the legislation would also punish those who wish to work and won’t be able to because of the expected closures.

He says that levels of service will reduce and that tourists and local consumers would be the losers.

Employees and employers generally accept the existing situation.

“Both parties enter the industry knowing that it’s not your conventional nine-to-five working situation, it’s simply what our industry is all about,” he said.


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