Christmas cheer as Victorian workers given back their public holiday penalty rates

Greens Employment & Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today welcomed news that the Victorian Labor government has reversed its decision on public holidays that would have denied people working on Christmas Day their public holiday penalty rates. But Mr Bandt said he would press on with his legislation in the Federal Parliament to ensure people working on Christmas and New Year's Day receive their public holiday penalty rates in a move designed to prevent future State Government grinches striking and denying workers their public holiday penalties.

"Responding to pressure from unions, the community and the Greens, the Victorian Labor government grinches have finally caught some Christmas cheer and reversed their decision to deny Christmas Day workers their public holiday penalty rates," Mr Bandt said.

"This is good news for thousands of Victorians as they will now receive their public holiday penalty rates for spending time away from their loved ones when they work on Christmas Day, just like every other worker across Australia."

"The Labor government's flawed plan for unfair pay on Christmas Day is now rightly a ghost of Christmas past."

"However, it is disappointing that Daniel Andrews and his government left Victorians in the lurch for so long, with Victorians set to be working on Christmas Day left uncertain about whether they would be paid the penalty rates they are entitled to."

"This uncertainty would have caused stress for a lot of Victorians, as many depend on their penalty rates to make ends meet, especially around Christmas time when there are much higher demands on people's pockets."

"It’s a reminder that Labor will at any moment junk its ‘core values’, but once again the Greens have helped hold Labor to account."

"This week I introduced legislation into Parliament to protect people's public holiday penalty rates for Christmas and New Year's Day to prevent this situation ever arising again. I am hopeful that Bill Shorten, Labor, the crossbench and the government will get on board."

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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