Part-day public holiday changes under scrutiny

Business SA said it was working with unions to achieve changes to South Australia's new part-day public holidays.

Employers have complained high penalty rates will force many to close rather than risk losing money.

A raft of changes to retail hours in SA included the introduction of the new public holidays, which apply from 7:00pm to midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Business SA CEO Nigel McBride said his organisation was keen to change the new arrangements rather than see them scrapped.

"There's clearly been some unintended consequences and we want to work sensibly with the unions to get an outcome for employers that's fair and appropriate," he said.

"We need to fix it now.

"We're not going to lobby to overturn it, we believe there's another way through." Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley said he had asked Fair Work Australia to take submissions from business groups and unions about how the new part-day public holidays might affect various awards.

Commissioner Peter Hampton will hold a hearing in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Mr Wortley said his action was in response to a few employer groups saying the changes would hurt businesses.

"I'm concerned that the employers didn't do this six or seven months ago.

If they were that concerned about it they would have applied to the Fair Work Australia themselves, which they had every right to do, and they would have been in the Commission six or seven months ago," he said.

"The Government has always been open to discuss this legislation with employer groups but some chose instead to oppose it outright."

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