Fleurieu Employers: Get to Know Your Rights & Responsibilities for Anzac Day

Apr 18 / Michael Schubert
As the 25th of April Anzac Day public holiday approaches, it’s important that Fleurieu businesses understand their rights and responsibilities. Unlike metropolitan Adelaide and other proclaimed shopping districts, Fleurieu businesses are exempt from trading restrictions on Anzac Day and can choose when they are open for business. Any employee that works on a public holiday is entitled to public holiday rates of pay.

If businesses decide to charge a public holiday surcharge on their menu, the surcharge amount (percentage) must be disclosed to customers prior to ordering, it is recommended the surcharge be prominently visible on menus.

Employers across Australia will need to adjust their rostering practises following a recent Federal Court decision. The case of CFMMEU v OS MCAP Pty Ltd [2023] FCAFC 51 has determined that employers must “request” their employees to work on public holidays before rostering them in to work. This means that employers cannot simply slot an employee in to work on a public holiday without first receiving their consent. Considering this decision, it will be important for employers to review their existing rostering procedures to ensure they are compliant with the Fair Work Act. Failure to make the necessary requests could result in a breach of the law, and employers could face consequences as a result.

As Anzac Day approaches, it is important for employers who are operational to take immediate action. If the rosters have already been issued, they should communicate with their employees about the flexibility and inform them that the roster can be refused by them. Employers must ensure that they receive a response before the roster can be finalised. For employers who operate a roster system, a draft roster can be issued. The roster should be clearly titled “Draft Roster” and have a section where an employee can sign to confirm their acceptance to work on that public holiday.

According to Colin Shearing, the Executive Officer of Business Victor Harbor, there may be significant challenges for employers with the need to issue requests for workers to be rostered on public holidays.

“This situation illustrates the inherent complexity of our workplace relations system, which can be unworkable at times. In fact, even the largest employers in Australia, as well as the courts, have been prone to errors when trying to determine what is required by our workplace laws” Colin said.

“The situation serves as an example of the problematic nature of workplace relations laws and how they can lead to mistakes. As an employer chamber of commerce, BVH understands the significance of robust and effective workplace relations and recognises the need for greater clarity and simplicity in the system. Without such changes, employers will continue to be faced with challenges that significantly impact their operations and disrupt their ability to navigate the complexities of workplace relations laws”.

Further information:

Fact Sheet: Rostering on Public Holidays
Business SA Resources
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