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Public holiday for The Queen: The Aussies who don’t want it

Australia currency and people walking on a busy street to represent public holiday pay.
Some Aussies are not thrilled about the one-off public holiday. (Source: Getty)

Aussies are set to get a public holiday on September 22 as a day of mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but not everyone is happy about it.

Small business owners, particularly, have expressed some frustration about the one-off public holiday, saying it will eat into profits.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said it respected the decision of the Federal Government to honour the passing of Queen Elizabeth II but added it was now up to the states and territories to clarify trading conditions for next Thursday.

“Many in our community, including retailers and their staff, will want to honour and mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.

“We are confident retailers will abide respectfully by the Government’s decision and in sympathy to the sensitivities of many of their customers.”

Zahra said small business owners typically took the brunt of public holiday trading, which could impact them with staffing requirements and profits.

“This event will create some complications for businesses, with store closures and staff scheduling challenges, with many rosters set up weeks in advance,” he said.

“There will also be a small but unexpected loss of trade, and additional staffing costs, which may impact cash flows for small businesses.

“Store opening and closing directions are typically established by the states and territories, and we look forward to their direction today so retailers can plan accordingly.”

Melbourne gets extra long weekend

The difficulties facing some businesses are even more extreme in Melbourne where they’re set to see a four-day long weekend thanks to the AFL grand final.

One small business owner took to Reddit to complain about the added public holiday, saying the profit hit would be huge.

“I'm a small business owner that's likely to get 0 customers that day if I do open (and maybe less over the weekend too),” Reddit user Drizzle179 said.

“With Thur-Sat being my busy days, I can pretty much write the week off for sales, but still have to work and pay rent.

“If it's a planned holiday, I factor that into a yearly target, an unplanned 4 day weekend affects me the same way a COVID shutdown, or floods do, with no money coming in.”


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