Compromise likely on penalty rates deal

Business SA and unions are confident differences over part-day public holidays and penalty rates will be resolved before Christmas.

Some employer groups and unions have proposed an interim solution to a conference held by Fair Work Australia to consider how various awards will be affected.

The new holidays operate from 7:00pm-midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, meaning workers rostered at those times get higher penalty rates, unless they are casuals.

Some restaurants and hotels claim the prospect of higher costs and running at a loss will force them to close.

All parties are being given more time to have their say, but Rick Cairney from Business SA said he expected there would be an outcome next week, before the first of the new holidays is due.

"I think all parties both here and interstate have the goodwill to try and get this rectified before Christmas, so understandably not having seen the proposal until today they need some time to look at it but I'd be quietly confident, given that we're all working in the same direction that we will get a resolution before Christmas," he said.

Ian Horne of the Australian Hotels Association said commonsense had prevailed.

"The philosophy that has been agreed between United Voice (unions) and ourselves with the support of the minister is that you will be compensated for the hours you work because the intention was never to compensate for work you didn't do," he said.

Peter Malinauskas from the shop workers' union said the proposed interim deal aimed to clear up some of the issues about entitlements.

"The core objective of this schedule is that the only benefits that workers receive as a result of this legislation are those benefits that we intended to get in the first place and that of course is the access to [the] right to refuse to work on public holidays and then of course the access to public holiday penalty rates if they work those hours after seven o'clock," he said.

The part-day public holidays were announced this year as part of a deal to extend other trading hours.

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