The Baillieu Government’s changes to Easter Sunday trading laws could force hundreds of local retail employees in Warrnambool to work without additional pay loading, Labor Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said.
Ms Tierney said Labor would oppose the Shop Trading Reform Amendment Bill.
“This draconian change will force Warrnambool retail workers to work on Easter Sunday and does not ensure that workers receive penalty rates,” Ms Tierney said.
“Under current laws, larger companies are closed on Easter Sunday which allows smaller family businesses the option to shut.”
“It means workers can enjoy a day with friends and family because smaller businesses aren’t compelled to open.
“Mr Baillieu’s changes will allow larger retailers to open and force small businesses to open their doors to remain competitive.”
Ms Tierney said it was Labor who amended the Shop Trading Reform Act in 2003.
“For many Victorians Easter Sunday is a day of religious significance and for others it is a day to enjoy with family and friends,” she said.
“For almost a decade, Easter Sunday trading restrictions have protected small businesses and retailers.
“These changes could mean businesses in major shopping centres may be forced to open their doors as part of their lease agreements.
“Labor believes that retail workers should not be forced to work on Easter Sunday without receiving loading beyond ordinary Sunday rates.
“Ted Baillieu is forcing small businesses and retail workers to leave their families on a day of religious and social significance.”